Published: 11:20, 05 April 2020
| Updated: 11:54, 05 April 2020
A permanent memorial will be sited at a hospital in honour of a nurse who died after contracting coronavirus.
Aimee O'Rourke, who worked at the acute medical unit at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital, Margate, died on Thursday after testing positive for Covid-19.
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.
Today, East Kent Hospitals chief executive Susan Acott confirmed that a lasting tribute will be installed.
She said: “The thoughts of everyone at the Trust are with Aimee’s family and friends.
"Aimee was hard-working, dedicated and hugely popular with staff and patients alike. She gave her all to care for our patients and her commitment was evident for all to see.
"There will be a permanent memorial at the hospital to remember Aimee and her care and commitment to her patients and colleagues, and this will be arranged in discussion with Aimee’s family, friends and the staff who worked with her.”
It comes as £33,000 was raised for her family via a GoFundMe page.
Soraya Duchess Zanders, who set the appeal up, wrote: "Please give as much as you can to help Aimee's family, just as Aimee gave her life to make sure other people survived this virus.
"Hopefully this will bring Aimee's three daughters some comfort and financial relief."
The brave 39-year-old, was described as an "amazing mum" to Megan, Mollie and Maddie and "one in a million".
It was Megan who led tributes on social media, as she shared a Facebook post describing her as an angel.
"Look at all the lives you looked after and all the families you comforted when patients passed away," she wrote.
"You are an angel and you will wear your NHS crown forever more because you earned that crown the very first day you started.
"Your Meggy misses you beyond belief. One day when I have children of my own I will tell your grandchildren about their GG (glamorous gran) which you wanted to be called, every single day.
"I could go on all day long and have so many things to say but I have to be strong.
"Night night mummy."
'She was such a kind and caring nurse, and she had a really special relationship with her patients and colleagues'
It is understood Ms O'Rourke started showing symptoms of coronavirus about two weeks ago before her condition deteriorated and she was taken into intensive care at the QEQM and put on a ventilator.
She had been in a critical condition, with her family willing her to wake up before she died.
Ward manager Julie Gammon said the whole team was 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."
More by this authorEleanor Perkins
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