Marie Curie’s chief executive has described the death of one of its nurses from Covid-19 as “devastating”.
Barbara Sage died in intensive care at the age of 68 and is the first member of Marie Curie’s nursing team to die of coronavirus. The charity has posted a tribute to her on its blog.
Sage had worked in palliative care for 40 years and had been at Marie Curie for 14.
Matthew Reed, chief executive of Marie Curie, said: “Barbara’s death is a devastating loss for the whole team, and I know everyone who worked with Barbara over the last 14 years can attest to her professionalism and commitment. I know she will be very greatly missed.
“I’ve spoken to Donna who told me how her mother spent all her life as a palliative care nurse, holding the hands of dying people and hugging their loved ones. She told me how she and the rest of the family couldn’t hold Barbara’s hand as she was dying. They couldn’t hug her goodbye. This pain is something that so many families are having to go through right now.
“My thoughts are with Barbara’s family and friends, as well as everyone who is grieving a loved one in these incredibly difficult times.”
Barbara's daughter Donna, said: “Mum always said her job wasn't about the getting paid, it was about being there for people when they need it. It was about being caring and kind and giving people your time.
“She wouldn't just get up and leave at the end of her shift. She'd stay on to support the families or wait for the coroner if needs be.”
Barbara’s manager, Adebusola, recalled how much she loved helping people: “If ever Barbara was off and we needed cover for a shift, she'd say: ‘If the patients need me, I'll be there...' That was Barbara all over: patients first.”