Suffolk GP who worked in NHS for over 40 years dies after catching coronavirus

A dedicated GP who "felt it was his duty to help" people has died aged 76 after testing positive for coronavirus, his family said.

Fayez Ayache was taken by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital on April 2 and died six days later.

The grandfather, who lived in Raydon in Suffolk, had been diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia and coronavirus.

His eldest daughter Layla Ayache, 35, said her father retired from his full-time job at Constable Country Medical Practice around two years ago but his retirement was short-lived.

She said he was back working "a couple of days a week" as a GP with North Clacton Medical Group soon after as he wanted to help people.

He also ran an ear, nose and throat clinic at Ipswich Hospital.

Dr Ayache - who moved to the UK from Syria in 1973 - had stopped working about three and a half weeks ago due to the risk of coronavirus, his daughter said.

Ms Ayache posted a tribute on Facebook:

She said she did not know where he had contracted the virus, but believed he may still have been seeing people to give medical advice.

"My dad was very, very commonly phoned and people would say 'my daughter's ill' or 'my son's ill' or 'my husband's ill'," she said. "He would often pop round and just check people were OK.

"He was a rural village GP at heart and that's the sort of thing that he would do.

"I wholeheartedly believe that if someone had called him with a concern he would have gone over and checked they were OK, because that's what he wanted to do for everybody.

"His entire life was split between his family and his work. That was all he lived for really, was those two things.

"He was the most dedicated GP that I've ever met."

She said her father had expressed concern for people's safety during the pandemic.

"All he ever said was that he was concerned for everyone's safety and that he wanted to help," Ms Ayache said. "He felt it was his duty to help."

Dr Ayache had worked for the NHS in Suffolk for more than 40 years and helped raise funds for refugee charities to help people in his birth country of Syria.

He is survived by his two daughters Layla and Sarah, Sarah's wife Katie and his granddaughter Paisley.