Bristol doctor who worked on Covid frontline dies after contracting the virus

A fundraiser set up by his colleagues to help his wife Manal and seven children has raised more than £47,000 in less than 24 hours. Credit: Osman family

The colleagues of a consultant at Southmead Hospital who died after contracting Covid-19 have paid tribute to the "generous" and "calm" doctor.

Dr Gamal Osman treated hundreds of Covid patients at the north Bristol hospital, but caught the virus himself and died following a lengthy spell in intensive care.

A fundraiser set up by his colleagues to help his wife Manal and seven children has raised more than £47,000 in less than 24 hours.

Dr Osman had been working as a consultant at Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Credit: ITV West Country

A tribute to Dr Osman, 63, was posted by those who worked alongside him in the fight against coronavirus. It described him as "generous, calm and an extremely popular member of the Acute Medical Team".

The tribute, from Prashanth Mamilla, Rina Adhikary, Ella Chaudhuri, Nigel Lane, Kiaran Flanagan and Louise Powter, said Dr Osman was well aware he was high risk of Covid-19 being serious for him, if he contracted the virus, but refused to leave his colleagues.

“Gamal was a long-term locum consultant at North Bristol NHS Trust for the past two years and could always be relied upon to offer a helping hand, was always smiling and kind to everyone around him,” they said.

“We are all aware that Covid poses a higher risk to BAME and older patients. At the age of 60, Gamal was well aware of this risk, particularly as he lost his brother to Covid in September 2020.

"Despite this tragedy, many conversations with friends, colleagues and relatives trying to persuade him to minimise his risk and despite his awareness of the risk involved, he was committed to continuing to care for acutely unwell patients with Covid."

Credit: Osman family

Dr Osman, known to his colleagues as 'Ozzy', was from Birmingham, and worked as a locum consultant in acute care all over the country, including at Liverpool's main hospital, in Birmingham and for the past couple of years, at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Just months after his brother succumbed to the virus, Dr Osman contracted Covid-19 himself, three weeks before the vaccine was introduced to the frontline staff on his ward.

He spent weeks battling the virus in hospital, and in intensive care, before dying on Thursday 28 January.

Within hours, his devastated colleagues set up a fundraising page for him, and within 24 hours it has passed £40,000.

Rina Adhikary, one of the Acute Team at Southmead Hospital said: “We didn’t dare to hope that we’d get to this amount in a week, never mind an evening. Thank you so much to everyone who’s donated and shared.”

Dr Prashanth Mamilla said Dr Osman's passing "is devastating".“His friends and colleagues were constantly hoping that he would beat the odds and survive this disease, but sadly this has not come to pass. We would like to repay the generosity that Gamal showed and embodied every day by trying to help his family through this difficult time.“If you have encountered Gamal in your working life or if you just want to help and feel that you would be able to contribute to the wellbeing and financial security of his wife and children we would urge you share this and consider donating whatever you feel appropriate.”You can find out more about Dr Osman on the fundraising page.

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