Tragic twist in nurse virus death


The 28-year-old nurse who died of coronavirus five days after her baby was born had lost her dad to suspected COVID-19 just days earlier.

Mary Agyapong, 28, who "devoted her life to the NHS", was taken to hospital on Tuesday last week showing signs of the killer bug and later tested positive for the virus.

Her condition quickly worsened and it is understood the decision to perform an emergency caesarean was made shortly after she was admitted.

She died at Luton and Dunstable Hospital on Easter Sunday.

Her newborn daughter, also named Mary, has been hailed as a "beacon of light at this very dark time".


Mary Agyapong, 28, died from coronavirus after her baby was delivered via C-section.
Mary Agyapong, 28, died from coronavirus after her baby was delivered via C-section.

And it today emerged Mary's family were still mourning the suspected coronavirus death of her dad just days earlier.

A source said: "Her father died on Tuesday then Mary on Sunday. The family are in such a shock.

"It's horrific. They are in a very traumatic state. It's a horrible situation."

Mary, who has a two-year-old son, had been on maternity leave and had not been in contact with any patients while infected. It is unclear if her newborn baby girl has coronavirus.

Mary acquired the infection in the community and not in the hospital.

Her husband, Ernest, was reported to be self-isolating.

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed Mary was one of its nurses.

Mary's colleagues have paid tribute to her saying she ‘devoted her life to the NHS’.
Mary's colleagues have paid tribute to her saying she ‘devoted her life to the NHS’.

Chief executive David Carter said: "Mary worked here for five years and was a highly valued and loved member of our team, a fantastic nurse and a great example of what we stand for in this trust.

"She tested positive for COVID-19 after being tested on April 5 and was admitted to the hospital on April 7.

"Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Mary's family and friends at this sad time."

On a GoFundMe account which has raised more than £55,000 ($108,000) for Mary's family, co-worker Renai Mcinerney paid tribute, writing: "Sister Mary was my colleague, I worked alongside her for a few years.

"She deserves her family to be looked after, after she devoted her life to the NHS as a nurse.

"It's time to look out/after our own and return the selfless persona Mary carried and give something so small, but so big to her family in this time of need. RIP sister Mary."

Hospital sources told Channel 4 News there has been shortages of gowns and rationing of masks including while Mary was working there.

They said the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) had caused widespread discontent among the medical staff treating COVID-19 patients.

A hospital spokesman refuted that claim, telling Sun Online: "We have not experienced significant shortages of PPE during the outbreak."

NHS bosses also insisted Mary never treated coronavirus patients while she was pregnant.

But organisations supporting pregnant UK medical workers said many had been told they must go to work, sometimes without PPE.




Joeli Brearley, of campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed, said: "The death of Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong could have been prevented.

"A child will now grow up without her mother - this tragedy could have been prevented."

The current guidance is that medical staff who are less than 28 weeks pregnant can treat non-coronavirus patients.

Mary was one of four NHS and care workers revealed yesterday to have died after contracting COVID-19 as the UK's daily death toll rose by 761.

They included Dr Peter Tun, 62, a neuro-rehabilitation specialist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital for more than 20 years.

His family said he would be remembered as a "superhero dad" to his two children.

In a statement they said: "To us, he was simply the best human we know and we will miss him every day."

Elsewhere, the daughter of 41-year-old nurse Leilani Medel is being looked after by carers after Leilani died.

Leilani, originally from the Philippines, had lived and worked as a nurse in the Bridgend area of South Wales for more than 10 years.

Her health worker husband, Johnny, 39, has also been left fighting for his life with the virus.

Cheryl Williams, a housekeeper on an elderly patient ward at North Middlesex University Hospital in Edmonton, North London, has also died after contracting COVID-19. Colleagues called her "irreplaceable".

And mum-of-one Linnette Cruz, 51, a dental nurse in Swansea, has died after fighting coronavirus for a month in hospital.

At least 48 NHS staff, care home workers, hospital employees and other health workers have died so far in the coronavirus crisis.

This story first appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission

Originally published as Tragic twist in nurse virus death