AN “amazing” NHS nurse, 36, who was a frontline warrior in the country’s battle against coronavirus, is now battling for life in the ICU.
Areema Nasreen was put on a ventilator after testing positive for COVID-19, and being attended to by fellow-medics at Walsall Manor Hospital.
The mother of three, who worked with NHS for 16 years, had no prior health issues, said her family.
Areema’s sister, Kazeema, said her sibling was “an amazing nurse on the front line and who always helps so many”.
“She is critically ill in ICU, on a ventilator and fighting for her life,” she told BirminghamLive.
“I want everyone to know how dangerous this is. My sister is only 36 and is normally fit and healthy.”
Kazeema believed people were “not taking this seriously enough”. “She is young – it is not just the elderly who are at risk,” she said.
Areema started having symptoms such as high temperature, cough and body aches about 10 days ago.
“Her temperature would not go down and her cough was so bad it affected her lungs,” she said.
“We’re obviously not allowed to visit her but the hospital staff are keeping in touch and updating us as often as possible.”
Kazeema said her sister “loves the NHS”, and her colleagues were like a “second family”.
“They have been truly amazing… they are keeping us all strong and doing everything they can for her.”
Areema had started off as a housekeeping staff at Manor Hospital 15 years ago, was a staff nurse who “always put others first” and was “truly loved by everyone”.
On her “dream of becoming a nurse”, Areema had recently said: “I just wanted to be able to look after people, particularly those who are elderly and vulnerable.”
After being taken by her family to “Pakistan to be married at 17”, she had been told to focus solely on playing a supportive role within the marriage.
“It felt at that point that nursing was so far away from me,” Areema had said.
“I got a job in housekeeping at Walsall Manor Hospital and at that interview found staff to be incredibly supportive of my dream.”
After qualifying as a staff nurse at the hospital’s Acute Medical Unit in January last year, she exclaimed: “I am so blessed to have this role and absolutely love it.”