The husband of a NHS nurse believed to have no underlying health issues who died after contracting coronavirus has paid tribute to a "loving mother and wife" who "gave her life to save the lives of others".
Areema Nasreen, 36, died shortly after midnight in intensive care at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands, where she had worked for 16 years.
The mother-of-three developed symptoms of coronavirus on March 13, including body aches, a high temperature and then a cough.
In a statement to ITV News, Raja Faisal Tahseen said: “May Allah have mercy on Nurse Areema Nasreen who passed away last night. She got ill whilst serving the community and trying to help others get better. She gave up her life to save the life of others. How honorable was her life and how honorable was her passing."
"A loving mother and wife she was always there for anyone that needed her. Her family are devastated by her loss she was loved by all. We just want everyone to pray her family and kids get through this difficult time."
In a touching tribute to her on Facebook, friend Rubi Aktar wrote: "My beautiful best friend Areema Nasreen has just passed away. My heart is broken. She fought and fought but Allah decided to take her.
"She was the most loveliest, genuine person you could ever meet, she went above and beyond for everyone she met."
She added: "I’m so grateful that I had the honour to call her my best friend, she saw me at my best and my worst and accepted my every flaw. I am so broken that words can’t explain.
"I can’t believe I will not see your smile again. You made me the nurse that I am today, with your support, motivation and inspiration I am the nurse that I am today and I hope I can do you proud Areema.
"I love you so much and I will never forget you.
"You had so much to live for, I am sorry you didn’t get to see your kids grow up and I’m sorry that you didn’t get to complete your career."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told ITV News: "It's really upsetting to hear the death of another NHS frontline medic" before adding: "It just underlines how people are putting their lives on the line to care for others."
When asked by ITV News Presenter Ranvir Singh whether Ms Areema's death highlighted the need for more NHS staff to have personal protective equipment while working, he said: "Of course, I feel very deeply the importance to getting protective equipment to every single one of the the 1.4million across the NHS who needs it."
Speaking last week, Ms Nasreen’s sister Kazeema, who works as a healthcare assistant at the same hospital, told Sky News the family thinks she could have contracted Covid-19 "virtually anywhere".
The 22-year-old also said her normally fit and healthy sister, from Walsall, was on annual leave when she first started showing symptoms.
The chief executive at the NHS trust where nurse Areema Nasreen worked has paid tribute to her.
Richard Beeken, CEO of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "I would like to pay tribute to Areema Nasreen who sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning (April 3). Any death is devastating but losing one of our own is beyond words.
"Areema was extremely committed to her role as a staff nurse on the acute medical unit at Walsall Manor Hospital."
He added: "She was a professional, passionate nurse who started at the trust as a housekeeper in 2003 before working hard to gain her nursing qualification in January 2019.
"Her dedication to her role and her popularity amongst her colleagues is obvious to see with the outpouring of grief and concern we are seeing around the organisation and on social media.
"We will do everything that we can in the coming days and weeks to support those that need it.
"Her vocation in nursing was clear for all to see and she always said that she was so blessed to have the role of a nurse which she absolutely loved because she wanted to feel like 'she could make a difference' - and you did, Areema, you will be very sadly missed.
"I would, on behalf of the trust, like to pass our deepest condolences to Areema's family and loved ones and our thoughts are with them all at this very sad time."
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