Tributes pour in for Libyan surgeon who died from coronavirus in UK

Sadeq Al Howsh joined hundreds of NHS front line staff who lost their lives to the disease

LONDON, ENGLAND  - APRIL 23: Signs in support of the NHS are seen   on April 23, 2020 in London, England . The British government has extended the lockdown restrictions first introduced on March 23 that are meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Sadeq Al Howsh worked tirelessly for 17 years to protect the public until he contracted the novel coronavirus that took his life this week.

Dr Al Howsh, 58, originally from Libya, was an orthopaedic surgeon with St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

He died at Whiston Hospital in the British city of Liverpool on Monday after testing positive for coronavirus.

The doctor was given a standing ovation by hundreds of his colleagues, NHS staff and patients, who stood outside Whiston Hospital, as his hearse departed the building.

A round of applause was heard as they bid farewell to their beloved colleague and member of the community.

Friends and colleagues remember Dr Al Howsh as a hard working and talented surgeon who had always took matters in his own hands to help others.

Speaking to the BBC, Ravi Gudena, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the trust, said "nothing was ever too much trouble for Sadeq".
"He was always there to help anyone and was happy to do whatever was needed to help his colleagues and patients," Dr Gudenea said.
Ann Marr, the trust's head executive, said her former colleague was  "without doubt, a much loved member of the team".
Dr Al Howsh's colleagues have set up a fund-raising page to support his family.

His family described him as a loving husband and father to four sons who will be dearly missed.

"We cannot put into words the depth of our loss. He loved his work and was dedicated to supporting his patients and his colleagues."
They asked the public to give them privacy and time to grieve his death.
"We are extremely appreciative for all the kind words and messages we have received," they said.
Dr Al Howsh was born in Tripoli in 1961. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tripoli in 1987 and worked at the Tripoli Central Hospital until 1992 before moving to the UK.

The British Ambassador to Libya, Nicholas Hopton conveyed his condolences to Dr Al Howsh’s family.

“We thank him for all he did for our NHS, and the many other Libyans doing the same. Are thoughts are with his family,” Mr Hopton said on Twitter.

Dr Al Howsh joined the hundreds of NHS and private healthcare staff, from heart surgeons to nurses, porters and volunteers, who have lost their lives to the coronavirus in the UK.
There has been a growing concern over the lack of protective garments for those working on the front lines fighting the disease. 
The UK has more than 140,000 confirmed cases and 18,738 hospital deaths.

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