A “dedicated and loving” nurse with coronavirus has died, five weeks after first being placed on a ventilator.
Onyenachi Obasi, 51, had been working as a health visitor and nurse, and her family said she “gave her life doing what she loved”.
Her niece, Ijeoma Uzoukwu, told the PA news agency: “We are just heartbroken. She was really loving, really sweet and a really cute person.
“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 loved her job, but that is what caused her to fall ill in the first place.”
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 familyIjeoma Uzoukwu
Ms Obasi, who had been living in Barking and Dagenham, had no underlying health conditions and told her family that she felt she had a duty to work, and help, during the pandemic.
“She told me she had to do it,” Ms Uzoukwu said.
However, a few days after caring for a Covid-positive patient, she fell ill herself before eventually being admitted to hospital.
Her niece said: “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 Obasi was placed on a ventilator for five weeks and was slowly recovering before she caught an infection. She died in the early hours of May 6 at Queen’s Hospital.
Ms Uzoukwu is organising a fundraiser to help pay for her aunt’s funeral and to also help provide for her 19-year-old son, who is vulnerable and was dependant on her.
She said: “It was just the two of them, and he relied on her for so much. We want to make sure he is taken care of for the foreseeable future and get him the help that he needs.
“He is a really sweet boy, and he has taken after his mum. He is such a nice boy and he is finding it really hard without her.”
Donations can be made via GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/nurse-onyenachi-obasi-passed-due-to-covid-19