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Irish woman with a ‘heart of gold’ contracted Covid after refusing to retire from her job at a UK hospital

Eileen Landers – who moved to England for work in the 1970s – died in April 2020, aged 67

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Eileen Landers died at the Queen's Hospital in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, the hospital where she had worked for over 16 years

Eileen Landers died at the Queen's Hospital in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, the hospital where she had worked for over 16 years

Eileen Landers died at the Queen's Hospital in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, the hospital where she had worked for over 16 years

PROUD Tipperary woman Eileen Landers (67) refused to retire from her job at a UK hospital at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic – insisting she and her colleagues were needed now more than ever.

But Ms Landers – who worked as a cleaner and was hailed by NHS workmates as having "a heart of gold" – died on April 26, 2020 after contracting Covid-19.

She died at the Queen's Hospital in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, the hospital where she had worked for over 16 years. "She wanted to work in something that mattered," her sister Margaret said.

"She very much liked being part of the social scene at the hospital. She particularly loved working on the children's ward.

"I remember I rang her and said, 'Eileen why are you going to work? You're 67, for God's sake just go off sick, or give in your notice'.

“But she told me, 'Now cleaners are really needed, why on Earth would I go off sick now, when I'm needed?'."

The hospital where Eileen worked is part of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) NHS Foundation Trust. She was the third person within the trust to die from the virus by April 2020.

She was one of eight siblings and had settled in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, after she emigrated to England for work in the 1970s.

"Eileen had a heart of gold and was the most generous person," Margaret said.

UHDB NHS Trust chief executive Gavin Boyle said the Irish woman was known for her devotion to her work and her colleagues.

"The importance of the role Eileen and her colleagues performed simply cannot be overstated," he said.

He noted that Eileen set incredibly high standards in her role.

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The Tipperary woman was remembered for her love of music, dancing and visiting her Irish family and friends.


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