NIGERIAN nurse Linda Obiageli Udeagbala became one of the latest diasporan victims to succumb to the dreaded coronavirus pandemic after she passed away at the hospital in Croydon where she worked earlier this month.
Ms Udeagbala, described as wonderful nurse, inspired almost all the members of her family to work for the National Health Service (NHS). Ignoring calls to work remotely, she died aged 60 after 17 years working for the health service.
Most recently, Ms Udeagbala worked with Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, where she bravely turned down options to work remotely so she could keep caring for her patients in person. She is survived by her husband of 40 years, Francis, who is a psychiatric nurse and five adult children
Her children include Cheyrinne, a midwife, Angelica, a paediatric nurse, Gerard and Colin, who are both mental health nurses and Marvin, who is self-employed. Colin, said: “My family is full of NHS workers and it all started from my mum, all the inspiration came from her.
“She was first and we saw her do it then everybody started to follow suit. That’s what she wanted for all of us, to study medicine or study nursing, to help people, she instilled in us to care for others and that’s it’s not just a job.
He added that his mother never had any plans to retire and despite the risks to her health there was never any doubt she would continue to work during the pandemic. Colin, 33, said his family had been overwhelmed by the kindness shown by his mother’s friends and co-workers, who have raised more than £12,000 to help cover her funeral costs.
Mr Udeagbala also called for more protection for older staff members who may be at greater risk from the virus. he added that he also felt ways should be found to honour those that lost their lives during the pandemic.
“I believe my mum was using PPE the majority of the time but I don’t know if there was just an odd occasion where it wasn’t effective enough. I would have stricter measures on those who are higher risk and older as she was 60 and more vulnerable.
“However, I believe the government us doing what it can and I can’t say they failed her because she chose to work. We just hope that she’ll be recognised and her name will be remembered.”
“My mother was all about caring for one another, loving one another, no matter your race or background, and she was loved by everybody. For me, it was just her kindness and ability to forgive as you’d have an argument with her today and tomorrow she’d always be the person to reach out first and try to settle things. She never held any grudges,” Colin added.;