NHS Doctor Dies from Covid-19 at West Mid

First working surgeon to be victim of coronavirus

Adil El Tayar
Adil El Tayar


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The first reported fatality due to Covid-19 of a surgeon working in the NHS has been reported at the West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth.

63-year-old Adil El Tayar had not been a member of the hospital’s staff but was admitted when he became ill.

The organ transplant surgeon who was a Sudanese national had been working in a hospital in the Midlands during the week and returning home to London when not on shift. He self-isolated in mid-March when he started to show symptoms and was admitted to hospital on 20 March and was later put into intensive care.

He was a graduate of the University of Khartoum and came to the UK in 1996 where he studied for a time at the University of West London. He had worked at St Mary's and St George's hospitals in London as well as around the world including Saudi Arabia and Sudan. He was the cousin of journalist Zeinab Badawi.

Ms Badawi said on Radio 4: "Adil was a stoic and an optimist and was never one to imagine the worst so he thought he would soon recover.

"But, after a week in bed he took a turn for the worse and became very breathless. He knew what that meant and his children insisted he go to hospital.

"They called for an ambulance - he managed to walk by himself to get into it. After he was admitted to hospital he was soon put on a ventilator."

His cousin Dr Hisham El Khidir said, "His son was really scared that he wasn't going to make it. This disease is horrible and is going to cause more heartbreak for many more families for weeks to come.

"Adil was someone who was central to our family, who was well-respected by so many people.

"Since his death on Wednesday I have had hundreds of text messages from his colleagues and friends. He will be sorely missed."

Consultant surgeon Abbas Ghazanfar, who knew him from his time working at St George’s Hospital described him as a "noble human being".

"Mr El Tayar was a very hard working and dedicated surgeon who gave the precious gift of life to so many people around the world by his excellent transplanting skills..

"He was an excellent colleague, a truly humble soul."

At the time of writing there have been 139 cases of Covid-19 in Hounslow borough and 241 in London Borough of Ealing.

March 29, 2020

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