Josephine Manini Peter, a South African nurse, died on Saturday, April 18 after she contracted coronavirus while on duty at a hospital in the UK.
Peter, 55, was originally from Tsakane, Ekurhuleni and had been living in the UK for 18 years. Cynthia Charles, a friend of Peter’s, said she had planned to return to South Africa as soon as she could, according to the Sunday Times.
Peter had two children and a granddaughter who had moved back to South Africa. “She had applied for a ticket back home before Covid-19 started and was ready to leave [the UK],” Charles said.
“It started off with mild symptoms and then she became very sick,” Charles added. ”She was in hospital for three days. The hospital discharged her and that very night she started to struggle to breathe and was turning blue. She was readmitted and that’s when she gave in.”
Trish Armstrong-Child, chief executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust where Peter worked, told The Standard UK that Josephine’s husband, Thabo, said she was passionate, hardworking, always putting others before herself. “‘She was ‘my heroine’, he said.”
”Our thoughts are with Josephine’s family at this difficult time and we offer them our sincere condolences,” Armstrong-Child added.
Peter’s ashes will be repatriated to South Africa. The Association of South African Nurses in the UK intends to hold a memorial service for her post-lockdown.