Tributes have been paid to a Queen Elizabeth Hospital worker who died after contracting coronavirus.
The death of healthcare assistant Christine Emerson, a “much-loved and cherished” wife, mother and grandmother, was announced by the King’s Lynn hospital on Monday.
Paying tribute to Mrs Emerson, known as Chrissie, colleagues described her as an “amazing lady” who was a joy to work with.
One tribute read: “All my thoughts are with the family, friends, colleagues and patients whose lives I’m sure she touched.”
Another said: “Chrissie will be hugely missed by us all” and another colleague wrote: “Sending love, no words, she was a beauty and I know how much she meant to you all.”
This week the flag at the hospital, near the day surgery centre, flew at half-mast to mark Mrs Emerson’s death.
In a tribute, North West Norfolk MP James Wild said: “This is incredibly sad news and my thoughts are with Mrs Emerson’s family and friends at this devastating time.
“Every loss of life to this terrible virus is tragic but it is particularly devastating when it is someone who was part of a profession dedicated to helping care for other people. This underlines the terrible impact coronavirus is having on so many families.
“Every Thursday I join people across West Norfolk and the country in the clap for our carers – this week I was clapping in her memory and for everyone working at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.”
A statement issued by hospital chief executive Caroline Shaw and Professor Steve Barnett, chairman of the hospital trust, on Monday said: “Everyone at QEH is today coming to terms with the devastating news that one of our own healthcare assistants has died after testing positive for COVID-19.
“The whole family at QEH is deeply saddened at losing Chrissie Emerson who was such a valued colleague, and much-loved wife to Michael and cherished mother and grandmother.
“We have been in touch with Chrissie’s family to extend our condolences on behalf of everyone at QEH and to offer appropriate support. We have informed our staff about this upsetting news and offered support to those who knew and worked closely with Chrissie.”
A nurse on the hospital’s Denver ward is critically ill at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge after being diagnosed with coronavirus, the hospital confirmed this week.
A JustGiving Page, set up by QEH colleague Eveln Nadar, has raised more than £6,000 towards the funeral of the nurse’s mother, Anusuya Chandra Mohan, who was also diagnosed with coronavirus.
The JustGiving page said: “Funerals are always a difficult subject specially at a time when Jenifer is on life support, and the rest of the family in India and the UK are mourning the loss of their loved one, while also remembering Jenifer and wishing her a speedy recovery.
“The family’s wishes are for Jenifer to see her mum before she is finally laid to rest.
“This would mean delaying the funeral and Anusuya remaining at the chapel of rest which would come with a cost.”
The fundraising page is now closed after the family was “overwhelmed” by the support.