Hundreds Line Streets For Nurse And His Parents Who Died Of Coronavirus
Hundreds of people lined the streets in Gateshead for the joint-funeral of a nurse and his parents who all died of coronavirus.
Keith Dunnington, 54, from South Shields, was a 'popular and hard-working' staff nurse at Queen Elizabeth Hospital who died on 19 April after contracting Covid-19.
His mum Lillian, 81, died on Friday 1 May and was holding hands with his dad Maurice, 85, who had been brought to her bedside from his ward by hospital staff, in her final moments. Maurice then died within days.
Emergency workers, including doctors, nurses and firefighters, briefly left their posts this (Saturday) morning to line the streets - while maintaining social distancing - outside South Tyneside District Hospital and applaud as hearses carrying Keith and his parents passed by.
A service followed at South Shields Crematorium which was restricted to immediate family.
Keith - dad to Ben, 21 and Olivia, 17 - trained to become a nurse in Birmingham and worked on the frontline for 30 years.
Speaking ahead of the service, 55-year-old Debbie Harvey - Keith's cousin and his parents' niece - said: "He looked after people so well and stood up for them.
"He would stand up to the highest consultant if he thought his patient was in danger or needed help."
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Yvonne Ormston, chief executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, said Keith would be missed by all of his colleagues.
She said: "Keith was a long-serving staff nurse who worked on medical, surgical and elderly wards here at Gateshead Health NHS FT.
"Keith was a popular and hard-working member of our fantastic nursing team. He will be very missed by his co-workers here at the trust and by the patients he cared for."
The trust said that although the father-of-two was 'very much part of the QE family', he was employed by nursing agency Pulse Jobs.
Lorna Duka, from Pulse Jobs, added: "Keith was a very selfless, hardworking and dedicated nurse who planned to help at the Nightingale during this pandemic.
"His positivity really stood out during this time; cracking jokes and asking me how I was coping.
"He always spoke very fondly of his family and his colleagues at Gateshead who he had the opportunity to work with regularly over the last year. He will be very much missed."
Cousin Debbie added that the family's plight should serve as a warning against lifting lockdown.
She said: "I think it's important that people realise the virus is deadly. It's too early to lift lockdown as people are dying. It's wiped out a whole family."
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