THE family of a caregiver who died after contracting a coronavirus just months before retirement paid tribute to the “wonderful” mother of a child.
Catherine Sweeney, 64, is believed to have contracted the virus while working without personal protective equipment (PPE) as a home caregiver in Dumbarton, Scotland.
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Catherine was rushed to hospital last Sunday, but died Saturday evening at the Royal Alexandra Paisley Hospital.
She is due to retire from nursing work with the West Dunbartonshire Council next year and is said to be the second caregiver in the UK to die after contracting the virus.
Broken-hearted relatives yesterday spoke of their grief after the death of an “unbelievable” mother of two who is believed to be the first caregiver in England to die from coronavirus.
Carol Jamabo, 56, worked for Cherish Elderly Care in Bury, Greater Manchester, but fell ill about a week before her death last Wednesday.
In a statement issued through the GMB union, Catherine’s family saluted their “wonderful mother, sister and beloved aunt” and thanked the medical staff who treated her “heroically”.
The family said: “Catherine was well known and highly respected in the community of Dumbarton, where she was born and raised.
“She was a caring and generous person, especially with regard to her time, having devoted more than twenty years of her life as a Home Carer to tirelessly meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in society.
“After a lifetime of service to the community, we know that we will miss her greatly, not only by her loving family, but by many others for her incredible warmth, care and dedication.
“A whole community shares our grief. “
The Sun revealed last week that 13 people died in just seven days after the deadly virus “swept” a nursing home in Glasgow.
Britain’s death toll rose to 5,413 yesterday after another 439 people died of the deadly disease in the past 24 hours.
The positive cases reached 51,608, against 47,806 the day before.
Boris Johnson was rushed to intensive care at London’s St Thomas’s Hospital last night while struggling to breathe and receiving oxygen treatment.
In Scotland, the number of people who died from coronaviruses is 222, after two more deaths were announced yesterday.
At least 12 medical personnel on the NHS front line have died from the disease, with a most recent leading heart surgeon dying from the killer virus.
Two-year-old dad Jitendra Rathod, 58, has been described as a “wonderful human being”.
There is concern that a lack of PPE may endanger workers in nursing homes treating residents with symptoms of coronavirus.
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Industry leaders and unions have demanded better protection for frontline social workers.
Hazel Nolan, organizer of GMB Scotland, said it had been “a week of reflection and tragedy for our welfare sector”.
Ms. Nolan said: “The lack of consistency around the advice and the lack of resources to alleviate work-related infection makes front-line workers lose all confidence they had in the response.
“The advice given is focused on resources, not science.
“So far, an untold story of this crisis has been the embarrassing truth that the less you get paid on the front lines of response from key workers, the less protection and resources you get.”
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Nadra Ahmed, executive president of the National Care Association, said, “The problem we hear the most is,” I’m desperately looking for masks. Does anyone have gloves?
“I’m at my last stock. “
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