'We've lost an amazing person': Sister's emotional tribute to Walsall nurse Areema Nasreen
"We've lost an amazing nurse but we've also lost an amazing person, an amazing sister, an amazing mom."
The sister of 36-year-old Walsall Manor Hospital nurse Areema Nasreen, who died after falling ill with coronavirus, has opened up about her "rare" sister, who "always put herself last".
Areema, a mother-of-three, was on a ventilator in intensive care at the hospital where she had worked for 17 years when she died on Friday.
Her sister Kaseema told the BBC News how her sister was still helping others right up until the moment she became sick.
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"She's just a rare girl," Kaseema said. "Not just at work, she put herself last in the community back home. Anytime she found someone was suffering she would send money.
"She put herself last in every way in the community. She helped everyone with everything. We’ve lost an amazing nurse but we’ve also lost an amazing person in life – that’s affected everyone.
"She was an amazing sister, an amazing mom. We were all so close. I spent five hours with her before she went on the ventilator. We just sat and talked."
Areema began work at the hospital as a housekeeper in 2003 and graduated in nursing at the University of Wolverhampton last year.
Kaseema said her sister first started showing a symptom of pain in her leg, but didn't think anything of it.
"I never thought anything of it either because you have got to understand the symptoms are different," she added. "Everyone has totally different symptoms.
"It was a Monday when she woke me up and said we are really short [at Walsall Manor] come on down.
"Because I'm a healthcare assistant. So I did a shift but when I saw her, I said you don't look good. She said let's do this shift and go home together. I was checking her temperature while she was at work and it was going higher and higher.
"She never thought anything of it because it was totally different. Then we ate together and she handed over with the night staff and that was the last handover. "
A book of condolence has been set up on Walsall Manor Hospital's website in memory of Areema, and now has hundreds of messages from friends, colleagues and people across the world.
It includes comments from Jay Jansen, on behalf of the imaging department at Walsall Manor Hospital, who said: "Areema, you will be sadly missed. You were such a wonderful nurse, so happy, positive, and caring towards your patients."
Visit the book of condolence here.
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