Funds pour in for family of pregnant nurse who died of Covid-19

More than £60,000 has been raised for the family and newborn baby of a pregnant NHS nurse who died from Covid-19.

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong 28, who worked as a nurse on a general ward at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital for five years, died on Easter Sunday.

Her baby daughter - also called Mary - was delivered successfully by caesarean section and is doing well, according to the hospital, although it is not clear whether she has also tested positive for the disease.

Ms Agyapong’s husband is currently self-isolating and has also been tested for Covid-19.

The Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said that Ms Agyapong tested positive on April 5 and was admitted to the hospital she worked at on April 7.

  • ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner reports from outside Luton & Dunstable hospital:

A Gofundme page set up on Wednesday morning had raised £66,843 by Thursday morning.

“Mary was a blessing to everyone she came across and her love, care and sincerity will be irreplaceable,” organiser Rhoda Asiedu wrote on the page.

“I am raising this funds for her immediate family; her husband, AJ and her baby girl little Mary, who was born at the time of her demise.”

ITV News understands that Ms Agyeiwaa Agyapong had been on maternity leave before being admitted to hospital.

The hospital said it did not have any coronavirus patients before she took maternity leave.

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong worked at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital for five years. Credit: ITV News

Dr Larisa Corda, obstetrician and gynaecologist, says she has colleagues on who are pregnant "have decided to put themselves on the line because they understand that their skills are so in demand at this moment."

"I think the question of whether health care workers who are pregnant should be in hospital at all is a really, really difficult one and an agonising decision for any women to have to make, because it comes with an added level of pressure because they know these skills are so in demand," Dr Corda added.

She said the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have advised all women in their third trimester or with underlying health conditions to not work in hospitals and should be at home to avoid exposure to coronavirus.

It is understood that Ms Agyeiwaa Agyapong's father has also died after contracting coronavirus, just days before his daughter.

Colleagues paid tribute to Ms Agyapong, who also went by her married name Mary Boateng, on the GoFundMe page.

Renai Mcinerney wrote: “Sister Mary was my colleague, I worked alongside her for a few years. She deserves her family to be looked after, after she devoted her life to the NHS as a nurse.”

Caitlin Green posted: “So sorry to Mary’s family and friends for her loss. She will live on in her beautiful baby girl.”

David Carter, chief executive of the trust, said: “It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of one of our nurses, Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, who passed away on Sunday.

“Mary worked here for five years and was a highly valued and loved member of our team, a fantastic nurse and a great example of what we stand for in this trust.

“She tested positive for Covid-19 after being tested on April 5 and was admitted to the hospital on April 7.”