Tributes paid to two Essex NHS workers who died from coronavirus

Tributes have been paid to Dr Kamlesh Kumar Masson and Laura Tanner, two NHS workers who died from coronavirus this month.

Up until contracting the virus, both worked in Basildon. 51-year-old Ms Tanner was a locality administrator for Basildon and BrentwoodClinical Commissioning Group - she had worked for the NHS for more than 10 years.

Dr Masson, aged 78, did locum work in Basildon and Thurrock. Before 2017, he worked at Milton Road Surgery in Grays, Essex. He founded the practice in 1985.

Dr Kamlesh Kumar Masson last worked on March 12

His family, who described him as someone who "would have wanted to practise medicine for many more years to come", said he last worked on March 12. They added that Dr Masson's career "came to an unexpected end last month, when he unfortunately contracted Covid-19".

The family said: "Dr Masson was an honest, kind and generous man who was deeply respected by anyone who was privileged to cross paths with him. He was jovial, funny and kind, always wanting to make the best of any situation."

Dr Adegboyega Tayo, chairman of NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG, said that in the latter part of Dr Masson's career, he was a valued team member at the Murree Medical Practice.

"He was much respected and a well-liked member of the primary care community. He will be missed by all those who knew him," Dr Tayo added.

Laura Tanner is survived by her husband and two children

Laura Tanner died on April 1. Her husband Kevin Tanner, 49, said that Covid-19 was given as her medical cause of death on her death certificate, with no other causes listed.

Mr Tanner has said she was "fantastic", "loving" and "caring".

He said that he and his wife first showed symptoms of coronavirus around March 19 and both went into self-isolation. After a week, his symptoms began to improve, but hers did not.

After calling NHS 111, a paramedic attended. After managing to get Mrs Tanner's temperature down, they advised her to continue to self-isolate as her breathing was "not that bad", Mr Tanner said.

However, Mrs Tanner's condition deteriorated, and her husband dialled 999 on April 1 as she struggled to breathe.

He believes that his wife died in his arms that day.

Paramedics tried to save her, but she was formally pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.

"She was a great mother to her children, she loved them dearly," Mr Tanner said. Mrs Tanner is survived by her husband and two sons, 13-year old Kian and 23-year-old Ethan.

"I'm having stories coming through where she would just randomly meet people at the bus stop, friends that she'd made, just got talking to people," Mr Tanner said. "They've laid flowers on the doorstep."

He added: "All these different stories from her work friends have been coming through to me. "It's just heartbreaking. She really was loved."

Mrs Tanner is survived by her husband and two sons, 13-year old Kian and Ethan, 23.

Nine other health and care workers from the ITV Anglia region have died during the pandemic.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know