LONDON: An organ transplant consultant in London, who also worked in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, has become the first National Health Service surgeon to die in the UK as a result of the coronavirus.
Adil El-Tayar worked at the capital’s St. Mary’s and St. George’s hospitals during his career and passed away on March 25 at a hospital in the west of the city.
He had been self-isolating after showing symptoms for the COVID-19 virus and was admitted to hospital five days before his death.
His cousin, also a doctor, said the 63-year-old had tested positive for the virus and spent his final days in intensive care.
“His son was really scared that he wasn’t going to make it. This disease is horrible and is going to cause more heartbreak for many more families for weeks to come,” Hisham El-Khidir told the BBC.
“Adil was someone who was central to our family, who was well-respected by so many people,” he added.
He worked as a transplant surgeon at the St. George’s Hospital before he started working in Saudi Arabia in 2007 for three years at the King Fahd General Hospital in Jeddah.
He also worked in his native Sudan, establishing a transplant program while working at Ibn Sina Hospital in the capital Khartoum.
He then returned to St. George’s Hospital as a locum surgeon.
The British Ambassador to Sudan Irfan Siddiq paid tribute to the doctor along with El-Tayer’s cousin, the BBC journalist Zeinab Badawi.