Bishop Auckland GP, who ‘lit up any room she walked into’, dies after Covid-19 battle


Dr Poornima Nair (Courtesy: Twitter)
Dr Poornima Nair (Courtesy: Twitter)

A BRITISH INDIAN doctor, whose “heart was with the NHS”, has died in the north-east of England after a long battle with the deadly coronavirus.

Dr Poornima Nair, 55, who worked at the Station View Medical Centre in Bishop Auckland in County Durham of England, had been admitted at the University Hospital of North Tees Hospital at Stockton-on-Tees on March 20.

Nair, who hailed from Kerala, was reportedly to be the tenth general practitioner to die on the frontlines of the UK’s medical community fighting the coronavirus. GPonline said she was the ninth BAME GP to die of Covid-19.

“The practice is very sorry to announce to our patients the death of our much loved and valued colleague and friend Dr Poornima Nair,” the medical centre said in a message.

“Dr Nair passed away after a prolonged COVID-19 illness, which she fought with her great strength of character. We are all devastated and upset by this tragic news and hope you will join with us in our thoughts and prayers,” it said.

Practice manager Sarah Westgarth recalled Nair as a “positive, encouraging and so caring” doctor who “lit up any room she walked into”.

“It’s quite unbelievable that seven weeks down the line, as a practice we are having to mourn the death of someone who is so important to us and a real focal point of the surgery,” she told BBC.

“I really feel for her family – her mum, husband and son.

“Her heart was with the NHS and what she could do to help her patients and the staff. She’ll be so missed.”

Tributes have been pouring in for the doctor on social media from friends, colleagues and others known to the general practitioner (GP).

She had been on ventilator support for a few days before she succumbed to the disease this week.

“Dr Nair was a well-known and extremely valued member of our community, serving as a doctor at Station View Medical Centre. She will be heavily missed by all that knew her, and my thoughts and prayers go out to her friends, family, and colleagues at this sad time,”  Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison said in a Facebook post.

British Medical Association GP committee member Dr Preeti Shukla  recalled Nair as a “well respected colleague” who had been “full of life”.

One of Nair’s patients thanked her for saving her mother’s life.

“Rest in Peace Dr Nair. Absolutely outstanding doctor. Saved my mum’s life 10 years ago without doubt, after undiagnosed life-threatening illness,” she wrote.

“Our whole family will always be grateful to you for ensuring my mom saw the rest of her life. I’m so sad yours has been cut short. Sending all our love to your family and work colleagues who will no doubt be missing you already.”

A former colleague added: “It’s so sad to hear such sad news. I worked alongside Dr Nair for over seven years at Station View.

“This is devastating news. My thoughts go out to all of her family, friends and colleagues.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday (13) that the deaths of 144 health care workers and 131 social care workers had been reported as involving Covid-19.