Tributes have been paid to Peter Hart, a “highly respected” paramedic at East Surrey Hospital who died this week after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus.
Mr Hart passed away on Tuesday 12 May, his 52nd birthday.
Previously a paramedic with South East Coast Ambulance Service, he had worked shifts in the emergency department at East Surrey Hospital for a number of years before joining Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust full-time in 2017.
He also volunteered at the hospital, visiting with his pet therapy dog to provide cheer and companionship to patients.
In a statement released through the trust, Mr Hart’s family said: “Pete has touched so many people’s lives, spreading his joy and kindness wherever he went.
“An amazing husband and dad. Nothing will ever bring him back to us, though the overwhelming love and support from family, friends and the local community has given us such comfort.
“We are in awe of the tireless efforts of all NHS workers currently battling this evil virus.
“We would sincerely like to thank the incredible ICU team at East Surrey Hospital for their world-class, compassionate care.
“Our thoughts are also with his Emergency Department colleagues, whom he considered his second family.
“A huge hole has been left in our hearts. We love you, forever and always.”
Michael Wilson, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “I was privileged to have known Peter for ten years and proud to call him a friend and a colleague.
“He was such a lovely man, whose priority was always the care of our patients and this would shine through whenever we spoke.
“All of our thoughts are with Peter’s family; we are in touch with them to offer our condolences and support.”
Jo Crerar, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s operating unit manager for Gatwick and Redhill, said: “Peter was a highly-respected paramedic who continued to serve his community working additional bank shifts for SECAmb after joining East Surrey Hospital in 2017.
“Peter joined SECAmb in 2006 as an Emergency Care Assistant and progress his career through Ambulance Technician, Paramedic, Clinical Team Leader before qualifying as a Paramedic Practitioner.
“I know that he will be very much missed by his colleagues and friends alike. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone who knew Peter at this sad and difficult time.”