A "bubbly" nurse who came to the UK to bring her "passion for care" to the NHS, has died in Southport after contracting coronavirus.

Mother-of-two Josephine Manini Peter, 55, had told friends she longed for her native South Africa and had started to talk about returning home to be with her children and grandchildren after working for 18 years caring for the UK's sick and elderly.

She moved to Southport back in February on an agency contract and fellill earlier this month.

Mrs Peter was admitted to Southport Hospital then discharged on April 14 but an ambulance was called after her condition worsened and she was re-admitted. She died on April 18.

"Josephine's husband, Thabo, told me she was passionate, hardworking, always putting others before herself. She was 'my heroine', he said.

Trish Armstrong-Child, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Nurse Cynthia Charles, a long-time friend of Mrs Peter said she was: "Very kind. Very outgoing, bubbly, you would have her on your guest list if you had a party."

"She was an honest human being. She had a passion for care."

Cynthia Charles
Credit: PA

An NHS recruitment drive led to her coming to the UK in 2002.

In the later years, she decided to work as a locum nurse via an agency, with her last posting at Southport.

Mrs Peter is survived by her husband and her daughter Buhle, 21, and son, Bongani, 30, who live in South Africa, along with five sisters and a brother.