Oxford John Radcliffe Hospital nurse dies of coronavirus

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Philomina CherianImage source, FAMILY PICTURE
Image caption,
Philomina Cherian was described by OUH NHS Foundation Trust as an "exemplary nurse"

A nurse who "dedicated her career to helping save lives" has died after contracting Covid-19.

Philomina Cherian, 62, from Oxford, worked at the Acute Admissions Unit at the city's John Radcliffe Hospital as part of a 15-year NHS career.

Mrs Cherian died on Thursday night at the hospital due to COVID-19, Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust confirmed.

Her husband Joseph Varkey, 63, said he never had a chance to say goodbye.

Mrs Cherian, from the Marston area, had spent the last two weeks in intensive care.

Mr Varkey said: "It was really difficult to see her go like this.

"When she left for the hospital in the ambulance, I didn't tell her goodbye as I didn't know it was the last time I was going to speak to her and see her in person.

"She was known by many within the NHS and was seen as a valued member of the organisation. She dedicated her career to helping save lives, even though she had diabetes and, recently, asthma.

"Many people contacted the family regarding the sad news, showing that Philomina was beloved by many and will always be remembered."

Sam Foster, chief nursing officer at the trust, said: "She was an incredibly caring friend and colleague who will be terribly missed by us all."

Image source, FAMILY PICTURE
Image caption,
The mother-of-three was "beloved by so many" her husband said

Mrs Cherian was a mother-of-three and had been a nurse for 40 years, also working in the Middle East.

Originally from Kerala, she had bought a house there with her husband in November in the hope of retiring at a later stage.

Oxford Indian Association president Jayakrishnan Nair said: "The Indian community, especially healthcare staff in Oxford, are shocked by the news.

"She was a great human being, a caring mother and wife, and lived her whole life for supporting them."

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