Nurse who died of coronavirus had spoken out about lack of PPE

‘Angel’ nurse, 51, who died of coronavirus had previously warned about lack of protective equipment for frontline NHS staff

  • Onyenachi Obasi, 51, died on May 6 after spending five weeks on a ventilator
  • She worked as a nurse for 20 years and told her family it was her duty to help
  • Her niece Ijeoma Uzoukwu, 30, said she had mentioned not being protected properly 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

An ‘angel’ nurse who died from coronavirus ‘lost her life caring for people’ and had previously warned about a lack of personal protective equipment.  

Onyenachi Obasi, 51, is the latest healthcare hero to be named as the death toll of NHS and social care workers reached at least 203. 

She died five weeks after being placed on a ventilator at Queen’s Hospital, Romford. 

The mum-of-one, who had been living in Barking and Dagenham, had been working as a health visitor and nurse in Newham, east London, when she contracted the virus.

Onyenachi Obasi, 51, was a nurse for 20 years and felt it was her duty to work and help during the coronavirus pandemic 

Her niece Ijeoma Uzoukwu, 30, said Ms Obasi had spoken about PPE shortages before falling ill.  

She said: ‘She was on the front line and from what we know she wasn’t protected.

‘I don’t know too much about it but she did mention to my mum that she wasn’t protected properly. 

‘That’s all I know at the moment.’  

Ms Uzoukwu added: ‘She has always cared for people. That’s all she knew and what she was really good at.

‘It’s sad that she’s lost her life caring for people. It’s a desperate irony.

‘She was an angel, a really sweet woman. There are hundreds of hearts that have been broken.’   

Ms Obasi worked as a nurse for 20 years and told her family that she felt a duty to work and help during the pandemic. She had no underlying health conditions. 

She died from coronavirus after spending five weeks on a ventilator at Queen’s Hospital, Romford

She fell ill after caring for a coronavirus patient before being admitted to hospital. She died on May 6.    

It follows nurses, doctors, paramedics and care home workers, as well as hospital pharmacists, porters, cleaners and patient drivers who also died working on the frontline. 

Ms Uzoukwu said yesterday: ‘She was a good example of unconditional love and just loved everyone. She was so giving and always had an ear – she took people as they were.’ 

She added: ‘Any normal situation I would go and see her and be by her side. But because of the lockdown, we weren’t able to do that, and that was really hard for our family.’ 

Ms Uzoukwu is organising a fundraiser to help pay for her aunt’s funeral and to provide help for her 19-year-old son who is vulnerable and was dependent on her. 

She said: ‘It was just the two of them, and he relied on her for so much. 

‘She was his best friend. We want to make sure he is looked after and supported.’ 

Donations can be made via GoFundMe.  

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