A HERO NHS doctor was killed by coronavirus after telling friends “this isn’t a time for cowards” when they begged him to step back from ICU.
Gamal Osman, 63, died in the early hours of yesterday after being rushed to intensive care when he contracted Covid-19.
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The dad-of-seven lost his brother to the virus in September last year and friends and family begged him to minimise his risk by reducing his commitments.
However, the heroic North Bristol NHS Trust doctor told colleagues “this isn’t a time for cowards” and continued to work.
Sadly he tested positive for coronavirus just three weeks before the vaccine was given to frontline staff.
Devastated colleagues have paid tribute to Dr Osman, a consultant in acute medicine, and said he was “always smiling”.
A GoFundMe page was set up to provide support to his Birmingham-based family which has raised a staggering £50,000 in less than 24 hours.
His colleague Dr Prashanth Mamilla said: “Gamal could always be relied upon to offer a helping hand, was always smiling and kind to everyone around him.
“Gamal was generous, calm and an extremely popular member of the Acute Medical Team.
Memorably he rallied his colleagues by saying ‘this isn’t a time for cowards’."
“We are all aware that Covid poses a higher risk to BAME and older patients. Gamal was well aware of this risk, particularly as he lost his brother to Covid in September 2020.
“Despite this tragedy and many conversations with friends, colleagues and relatives trying to persuade him to minimise his risk and despite his awareness of the risk involved, he was committed to continuing to care for acutely unwell patients with Covid.
“Memorably he rallied his colleagues by saying ‘this isn’t a time for cowards’.
“Tragically he contracted Covid three weeks prior to the introduction of the vaccine to frontline staff.
“His passing is devastating to all of his colleagues, but even more so to his wife and seven children who now have to deal with both the trauma of bereavement and with the financial burden it now places on them.”
Dr Mamilla said he was the sole breadwinner for his family and six of his children are under the age of 20 – with the youngest being just seven.
He added: “His friends and colleagues were constantly hoping that he would beat the odds and survive this disease, but sadly this has not come to pass.
“We would like to repay the generosity that Gamal showed and embodied every day by trying to help his family through this difficult time.
“If you have encountered Gamal in your working life or if you just want to help and feel that you would be able to contribute to the wellbeing and financial security of his wife and children we would urge you share this and consider donating whatever you feel appropriate.”
To donate, click here.
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