Another Nigerian medic dies in UK of Covid-19, family alleges lack of PPE
Nigerian-British Andrew Nwankwo, 46, a father-of-two nurse, had died from Covid-19 after he was forced to try and buy his own PPE on eBay, family reveal as they pay tribute to ‘big friendly giant’
Andrew Nwankwo, 46, died in Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford on May 16. He worked at the hospital he died in and had no underlying health conditions His brother Tochukwu says Andrew was not given ‘adequate protection’ as a nurse but the hospital dispute the claim saying there has ‘never been a lack of PPE’
Andrew was born in the UK to Nigerian parents and spent his childhood in Nigeria before returning to Britain as a young adult and working for the NHS for more than ten years.
The family of a ‘big friendly giant’ nurse who died from Covid-19 have claimed he had not been given protective equipment and was trying to buy his own on eBay.
He died on May 16 after spending five weeks on a ventilator at Boomfield Hospital in Essex where he worked as a locum nurse.
His family paid tribute to the ‘very genial’ and ‘kind-hearted’ man who was ‘always willing to help people’.
Frustrated brother, Tochukwu Nwankwo, 45, said Andrew told him that the personal protective equipment was ‘not there’ and he had tried to buy his own on eBay.
However, a spokesperson for Broomfield Hospital, in Chelmsford, Essex disputed the claims, and said there has ‘never been a lack of PPE’ at the hospital.
Tochukwu said: ‘He said to me the PPE is not there and he actually tried to procure some himself from eBay.
‘At that early stage when there was no PPE, that’s when he caught this because he was being sent out there to treat patients without adequate protection.
‘Then when it came to the time when he needed help, the ambulance would not come at the time, even though he as a nurse explained his symptoms to them.
‘He was being sent to face the danger without being given the adequate protection, that’s the bottom line and he told me as much.
‘That’s what’s really annoying and I’m really angry about this whole thing.’
His brother said he first reported Covid-19 symptoms on April 4 and went into self-isolation but his condition worsened, and he was left gasping for breath.
Andrew, who lived in Chelmsford with his wife, Ifeyinwa Ezeoji-Nwankwo, 39, and their daughters Kaima, eight, and Kamsi, four, called NHS 111 on April 10 and was advised to call an ambulance.
But Tochukwu said that the ambulance told him he ‘wasn’t considered enough of a risk’ because he could still form full sentences.
Broomfield Hospital say: ‘Our thoughts are with Andrew’s family at this very sad time. We have worked incredibly hard to ensure there have always been sufficient stocks of protective equipment for every member of staff who needs it’ +4
Broomfield Hospital say: ‘Our thoughts are with Andrew’s family at this very sad time. We have worked incredibly hard to ensure there have always been sufficient stocks of protective equipment for every member of staff who needs it’
He said Ifeyinwa, Andrew’s wife of ten years, drove him to hospital in the early hours of April 11 as his condition deteriorated further
Andrew was put on a ventilator later that day and he remained in the intensive care unit until his death.
Tochukwu said: ‘His colleagues who looked after him, they did a great job without a doubt.
‘It’s the circumstances surrounding this whole thing, I get really angry when it comes to that because I know that this could have easily been avoided.’
Andrew and Ifeyinwa should have celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary on April 18 but Andrew was in a medically-induced coma.
Tochukwu said: ‘We were told he was getting better. We thought “oh wow, how wonderful that this should happen on his wedding anniversary”.