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A newly qualified mental health nurse who was looking forward to starting the job of his “dreams” has died from Covid-19 before being able to start in post.
Oronsaye Okhomina, who worked throughout the pandemic as a student nurse and mental health support worker, died on 11 February after contracting the virus last month and being put into an induced coma at North Manchester General Hospital.
“If there was one thing Oronsaye looked forward to, it was the day he will start working as a qualified nurse”
He had been waiting to begin his role as a mental health nurse with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, having worked there previously as a support worker.
After completing his studies at the University of Huddersfield in December 2020, Mr Okhomina’s final results and Nursing and Midwifery Council PIN arrived while he was in a coma.
A fundraising page, set up in his memory, said he never woke up from his coma to see these achievements.
Mr Okhomina, who was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK in 2005, is survived by his wife Esther Okhomina and four children, aged 22, 18, four and two.
Paying tribute to her husband, Mrs Okhomina said that because of his “care and compassion for humanity”, Mr Okhomina had dedicated almost a decade to supporting mental health patients in the NHS.
He went on to develop “abilities and skills that propelled him” to study as a mental health nurse which had “always been his dreams”, she said.
“If there was one thing Oronsaye looked forward to, it was the day he will start working as a qualified nurse,” said Mrs Okhomina.
“But he never had the opportunity to practise as a qualified nurse for even one day.”
She said he had “worked so hard” and with “all his strength and will” to become a mental health nurse.
Also paying tribute, Neil Thwaite, chief executive of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “On behalf of the trust, I would like to express our sincere sadness on hearing of the recent death of Oronsaye, who was known to his colleagues as Ron.”
Mr Okhomina had been a permanent mental health support worker at the trust, before moving to bank work more recently while he did his nurse training.
“Ron was a dedicated member of the team who wanted the best for all those under his care”
Mr Thwaite described Mr Okhomina as a “valued member” of the trust family.
“Ron was a dedicated member of the team who wanted the best for all those under his care,” he added.
“He was well liked and respected by staff on the wards where he worked, and they have spoken of his caring, positive and outgoing nature, always taking time to lift the spirits of others.
“Ron was always willing to help others and made positive relationships with both staff and patients.
“Ron will always be remembered warmly by his colleagues, and our deepest sympathies are with his loved ones at this sad time.”
Mr Okhomina had two siblings and moved to Europe from Nigeria in 1990, first settling in the Netherlands.
He then moved to the UK in 2005 where he studied information technology management at the University of Bradford before going into nursing.
A fundraising page has been set up on behalf of his family and at the time of writing had raised more than £6,600.
The page said: “His family, friends and colleagues will remember Oronsaye as a selfless and compassionate individual who put others first.”
Nursing Times has set up a memorial page to honour nursing staff who have lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic.