Walsall Nurse Areema Nasreen Dies After Contracting Coronavirus

A sign outside the Walsall Manor Hospital where Areema Nasreen worked.

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A 36-year-old nurse and mother-of-three has died after contracting coronavirus. 

Areema Nasreen was being treated at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands, where she worked.

Richard Beeken, chief exec of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “I would like to pay tribute to Areema Nasreen who sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning [April 3]. Any death is devastating but losing one of our own is beyond words.

“Areema was extremely committed to her role as a staff nurse on the acute medical unit at Walsall Manor Hospital. She was a professional, passionate nurse who started at the trust as a housekeeper in 2003 before working hard to gain her nursing qualification in January 2019.

“Her dedication to her role and her popularity amongst her colleagues is obvious to see with the outpouring of grief and concern we are seeing around the organisation and on social media. We will do everything that we can in the coming days and weeks to support those that need it.

“Her vocation in nursing was clear for all to see and she always said that she was so blessed to have the role of a nurse which she absolutely loved because she wanted to feel like ‘she could make a difference’ – and you did, Areema, you will be very sadly missed.

“I would, on behalf of the trust, like to pass our deepest condolences to Areema’s family and loved ones and our thoughts are with them all at this very sad time.”

On Friday, fellow nurse Rubi Akhtar paid tribute to Nasreen online, describing herself as “heartbroken”.

She said: “She was the most loveliest, genuine person you could ever meet, she went above and beyond for everyone she met. I’m so grateful that I had the honour to call her my best friend, she saw me at my best and my worst and accepted my every flaw. I am so broken that words can’t explain. I can’t believe I will not see your smile again. You made me the nurse that I am today, with your support, motivation and inspiration I am the nurse that I am today and I hope I can do you proud Areema.

“I love you so much and I will never forget you. You had so much to live for, I am sorry you didn’t get to see your kids grow up and I’m sorry that you didn’t get to complete your career.” 

Another source said Nasreen’s husband had confirmed she died just after midnight on Friday. 

Dr Samara Afzal tweeted: “I’m lost for words, I beg you all to stay at home and keep everyone safe.”

A relative told Black Country Live: “The immediate family are devastated. Everyone is in shock this morning.

“She was always so full of life. She was devoted to her job as a nurse, she absolutely loved it. She passed away doing what she loved. I’m really sad for the rest of the family, she was a fantastic person.”

Her sister, Kazeema Nasreen, who works as a healthcare assistant at the same hospital, told Sky News the family thinks she could have picked it up “virtually anywhere”.

The 22-year-old said her sister, from Walsall, was on annual leave when she first started showing symptoms and does not think she picked it up at work.

Speaking to BirminghamLive before her sister died, Kazeema urged everyone to “take coronavirus seriously”.

“People are not taking this seriously enough. She is young – it is not just the elderly who are at risk.”

It comes after retired NHS doctor Alfa Saadu, who had returned to the health service to help fight coronavirus, died after contracting the disease.

Dr Saadu, 68, worked for the health service for several decades, and is said to have contracted Covid-19 before his death earlier this week.

According to his family, Dr Saadu was working part-time at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, before he died.

Weekly “clap for carers” tributes are being held to pay tribute to NHS staff risking their lives fighting the coronavirus pandemic.