Heartbroken colleagues of a nurse who died after contracting coronavirus while working on the frontline say she gave her all to her patients.
Aimee O'Rourke, who worked at the acute medical unit at the QEQM hospital in Margate, died yesterday after testing positive for Covid-19.
Tributes paid to Aimee O'Rourke
The 39-year-old, who had three daughters, had been part of the team since starting in 2017 as a newly qualified nurse and had been working on the frontline during the coronavirus outbreak.
Staff will hold a minute's silence tonight at 8pm in her memory.
Ward manager Julie Gammon says the whole team is devastated by her death.
"She was such a kind and caring nurse, and she had a really special relationship with her patients and colleagues," she said.
"Nursing was something she had always wanted to do, although she came to it relatively late after raising her girls.
"She took some time out to care for her mum after she was diagnosed with cancer and she was determined to return and to make her mum proud.
"Aimee was a really valuable part of our work family and would always offer to help if she could.
"She was really growing and developing in her skills and confidence and I know she would have gone on to have a great career."
Susan Acott, chief executive of East Kent Hospitals, says the thoughts of everyone at the trust are with Ms O'Rourke's family and friends.
"Aimee was hard-working, dedicated and hugely popular with staff and patients alike," she said.
"She gave her all to care for our patients and her commitment was evident for all to see.
"On behalf of the whole trust I would like to offer our sincere condolences to her girls, whom she adored, and to all her family and friends.
"I would also like to pay tribute to our teams in the emergency department and our critical care unit who cared for Aimee with such compassion and kindness."
Amanda Hallums, chief nurse at EKH, says everyone who worked alongside Aimee is heartbroken at her death.
"We are a work family and it is devastating to lose one of our own," she said.
"Aimee was determined to provide the best possible care to all of her patients and continued to come to work at a time when others were staying at home and inside.
"We will forever remember her smile, her concern for her patients and her colleagues, and her willingness to always go above and beyond."
In today's daily coronavirus press briefing in Downing Street, the country's chief nurse Ruth May said she worries there will be more deaths among medical staff and paid tribute to both nurses who have died.
She said: "I ask you to remember Aimee and Areema. Please stay at home for them."