'Selfless' Swindon doctor dies in London hospital after nine-week Covid battle

Dr Halim treated over 250,000 patients in his 25-year career. Credit: Family/ BPM Media

A surgeon who spent four months away from his family at the height of the pandemic working in Covid wards has died after a nine-week battle with the virus.

Dr Irfan Halim treated more than 250,000 patients in his 25-year career and spent the last two years working with Covid patients.

Dr Halim - a devoted husband and dad of four young children - most recently worked at Swindon Hospital.

But Dr Halim went to work on September 10 and never made it home after collapsing at work.

He later tested positive for coronavirus and had to be treated at the intensive care unit where he worked.

He was transferred to Royal Brompton Hospital, in London, on September 23 where he sadly died on November 14.

Doctor Irfan Halim was a devoted husband and dad of four young children Credit: Family/ BPM Media

His wife, Saila Halim described her husband as being like "10 men in one body".

Writing on a GoFundMe page set up in his memory, she said her heart is "shattered in pieces beyond imagination".

She said Dr Halim died in her arms while she whispered "prayers and love into his ears along with his brother and sister surrounded by his beautiful friends".

The page has raised more than £150,000 for the Dr Halim's family

In a heartbreaking post on social media, Mrs Halim said: "Irfan you gave me 15 magical years as your wife, four beautiful children, wonderful memories that will last me until my remaining days in this world.

"You gave 25 dedicated years service to the NHS working as a Consultant General Surgeon.

"Please remember him in your prayers and duas and mountains of strength for his children for the pain of losing a wonderful, beloved father at such a tender age.

"Irfan you were not only my best friend but a best friend to all our children and so many others."

Doctor Irfan Halim worked in Covid wards throughout the pandemic. Credit: Family/ BPM Media

There has been an outpouring of grief among the medical community for the highly esteemed and widely respected surgeon, who worked for the NHS for 25 years.

He specialised in laparoscopic surgery and also carried out work at his private clinics and at Harley Street.

Dr Halim held one of the highest volume practices in the UK, seeing approximately 300 new patients every month and personally performing more than 1,200 procedures annually.

Hash Syed, a colleague who worked with Dr Halim earlier in the year, paid tribute to his friend and said: "I will cherish the fun we had building Entero at the Antler hub near Liverpool Street.

Doctor Irfan Halim and his wife were married for 15 years. Credit: Family/ BPM Media

"Whether it be you riding around on your scooter, or our favourite burger bar. You were the definition of service to others, and believing in more. A man of many talents across being a doctor, a pilot and a lawyer.

"Most importantly, loving father and husband and great friend."

Kevin McNamara, Chief Executive of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the hospital "devastated" by his death.

He said: “Dr Irfan Halim worked with us as a locum consultant for a year and was an invaluable member of the team looking after patients with Covid.

"He selflessly dedicated himself to caring for his patients when they needed him the most during the pandemic.

"He will be sorely missed by those who worked with him, and by the whole organisation.

“On behalf of the whole trust, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to Irfan’s family and we ask that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”