Coronavirus: Tribute to 'exceptional' Wirral nurse

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Julie Penfold,Image source, Wirral University Hospital Foundation Trust/PA Wir
Image caption,
Wirral University Hospital Foundation said it was "truly devastating" to lose the "valued member of staff"

A nurse who died after testing positive for coronavirus has been described as an "exceptional woman" by her husband.

Julie Penfold, 53, worked at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust in Merseyside but was on a career break due to health issues before her death.

Her husband Nick said: "She loved her job. When she was at school, all she ever talked about was being a nurse."

The trust said it was "truly devastating" to lose a valued staff member who cared so much about others.

'Everything I lived for'

Mrs Penfold had fostered more than 20 children and also had two daughters, a son, an adopted daughter, two step-daughters and 11 grandchildren.

She and her husband would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this year.

"Nothing was too much trouble for her," he said.

"She was always checking on other people and looked after everyone.

"As a mentor she loved training the younger ones and supported a lot of doctors. She was really well-loved.

"I was really proud of her. She was an exceptional woman."

He added: "She was just a beautiful woman and everything I lived for."

The health trust said Mrs Penfold, who had underlying health conditions, was a patient at Arrowe Park Hospital when she died.

She joined Arrowe Park Hospital as healthcare assistant in 2003, before doing her nurse training and becoming a mentor to trainee nurses and doctors.

A book of condolence is being set up in the chapel at Arrowe Park and a minute's silence is being planned in her memory.

Janelle Holmes, chief executive of Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said it was "truly devastating... to lose a member of our own team".

"She was a valued member of staff who cared so much about others."

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