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NI nurse pays tribute to 'fearless' doctor husband who died after contracting Covid-19 while working aged 84

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Dr Karamat Ullah Mirza and wife Estelle

Dr Karamat Ullah Mirza and wife Estelle

Dr Karamat Ullah Mirza and wife Estelle

The heartbroken widow of an "extraordinary" doctor who died after contracting Covid-19 has said that it's her duty to let people know what an amazing man he was.

Dr Karamat Ullah Mirza (84), who was treating patients until he fell ill, died six days ago, on May 10.

His 71-year-old widow Estelle, a nurse from Northern Ireland, said she wanted her beloved husband to be remembered for being much more than a coronavirus victim.

"He was no ordinary man, he was an extraordinary, exceptional and astonishing man, who was absolutely fearless and daring and had enormous knowledge," she said.

"He worked endlessly for the NHS and non-stop for this country.

"My husband led an amazing life, and was very important within the community, and I want people to know what an amazing man he was."

Mrs Mirza said her husband was a remarkably healthy man, with a zest for life, who believed Covid-19 was no threat to him.

"He has cheated death loads of times and his life story is fit for a book - he has been kidnapped, been a prisoner of war and been attacked by a wild boar," she said.

"He was extremely healthy, fit and energetic, and he wasn't frightened of coronavirus, but I don't think he realised how bad it is.

"He didn't think it would happen to him, because he never had a negative thought and he never believed he couldn't do something."

Dr Mirza, who was raised in Pakistan by a family of doctors before moving to England in 1966, was still seeing patients in the fortnight before his death.

He was taken to hospital on May 4 after both he and Estelle, to whom he'd been married for 48 years, tested positive for the deadly virus.

The couple, who worked alongside one another at the Old Road Medical Practice in Clacton, where Dr Mirza had served since 1974, were tested after developing symptoms.

Fortunately Mrs Mirza recovered but her husband's condition went downhill rapidly while he was receiving treatment in a Covid-19 ward.

His widow, who has been employed by the same medical practice as her husband for the last decade urged everyone to remember him for "the man and community figure he was, and not just as another virus victim".

"The whole town has been left in shock and is grieving, and I can't believe it," she told the Clacton Gazette.

"He was known and loved by everyone and he loved all his staff and patients and this town."

Mrs Mirza met her late husband at a doctor's party in 1969, when she was a trainee nurse.

The couple married three years later and have a son and daughter together.

Dr Mirza, who completed two medical degrees as his first wasn't initially recognised in the UK, also has another son and daughter from two previous marriages.

In addition to his experience in general practice, Dr Mirza had also worked as a clinical assistant in anaesthesia at Colchester Hospital for 20 years, as well as a clinical assistant in obstetrics in Clacton Hospital for 20 years.

Dr Mirza's colleague Yash Uttarwar paid tribute to him on Facebook saying he was "kindest person I've known".

"I've worked with so many doctors but he truly was inspirational, exceptional, loving and caring," she said.

Belfast Telegraph