Irish family pays tribute to 'selfless' NHS doctor

Hero doctor Amged El-Hawrani died after testing positive

Catherine Fegan

The Irish family of the first NHS frontline doctor to die from coronavirus have paid tribute to the health worker.

Amged El-Hawrani (55), a consultant at Queen's Hospital Burton, passed away on Saturday night after testing positive for the virus.

His wife Pamela is from Tullow, Co Carlow, and the couple met when he was studying at the Royal College of Surgeons in the 1980s.

Francis Foley, Dr El-Hawrani's brother-in-law, told the Herald that his sister is devastated by his death.


"She is absolutely heartbroken," he said.

"We are all devastated over Amged's death. You couldn't meet a kinder or more selfless man. Anyone that met him was richer for the experience.

"His passion was for his family and his work and that's what he dedicated his life to.

"He was known for his commitment and his dedication to his patients everywhere and it is just so hard to believe. He has gone too soon."

Dr El-Hawrani, who died at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester on Saturday, was described as being "fit and healthy" before he contracted the virus.

His colleagues at Queen's Hospital in Burton fell silent at 1pm on Monday in his honour.

Dr El-Hawrani and his wife Pamela, who worked in the Indian Embassy, were married in 1996. He worked in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin for a time, before taking up various posts in the UK, where the couple settled. They have one son, Ashraf.

The funeral of the Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon took place in Bristol on Tuesday.

"It's been very tough not being able to be there to support our sister and Ashraf," said Mr Foley.

"We couldn't be there for them at a time when we all wanted to be. The whole family here in Carlow, including by mother Nancy and my four siblings will miss Amged immensely. There are no words."

Professor Cathal Kelly, chief executive officer at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, said the college was "deeply saddened" to learn of Dr El-Hawrani's passing.

"At RCSI, we join our community of alumni around the world who will be deeply affected by the loss of Amged. We are proud to have known him and of his professional dedication," he said.

"My deepest condolences are with his family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time. Ni bheidh a leitheid ann aris. May he rest in peace."

Dr El-Hawrani's 18-year-old son Ashraf also paid tribute to his father, saying: "Most of my dad's time was dedicated towards his family, and the rest of that time was dedicated towards his profession."