Fundraising page launched to pay for funeral and support family of Donald Suelto
Tributes have been paid to Donald Suelto, 51, a nurse at Hammersmith Hospital who has died of Covid -19.
A fundraising campaign has also been launched to pay for his funeral and support his family in the Philippines, for whom he was the breadwinner.
Donald, who was known as Dondee by his friends and family, had worked for the NHS since moving to London almost 20 years ago, most recently as a chemotherapy nurse at the hospital in Du Cane Road, White City.
His niece, Emelyne Suelto Robertson, who works as a nurse in Scotland, told Nursing Times that her uncle died alone at home after self-isolating with symptoms of Covid-19 and was found by police last Tuesday.
She said: " My uncle is really a hero for all of us.
"He was just so proud of being part of the NHS for 18 years – that is what he would always say to me.
"Hopefully this tells everybody to stay home because this is the reality of the frontline nurses who lost their life for this. Just stay in the house."
A spokesperson for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said: “We can confirm that, very sadly Donald Suelto, a nurse based at Hammersmith Hospital, has died. Cause of death is not yet clear.
"We are in touch with next of kin and are focusing on support for them as well as for colleagues at this very difficult time. Our thoughts and condolences are with Donald’s family, friends and colleagues."
Those paying tribute to Donald included Nursing & Midwifery Council Chief Executive Andrea Sutcliffe, who tweeted: "Another devastating #Covid19 loss for the nursing community with Donald Suelto’s death after years of dedicated service.
"My deepest sympathy for his family, friends & @ImperialNHS colleagues
"May you rest in peace Donald."
Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter who tweeted @hammersmithandy: " Donald Suelto gave a lifetime to nursing, 18 years service to the #NHS and his life caring for people here in Hammersmith. He isolated himself and died alone. This is true heroism. Honour his memory by protecting carers, staying home and self-distancing."
Donald's friend Jimmy Wong has now set up a fundraising page, saying: " Donald Suelto, 51, from London also known as “Dondee” is one of the NHS front liners who lost his life in the fight against the current global pandemic.
" After being exposed an infected patient, Dondee unfortunately developed covid19 symptoms after few days and was told to go home a self isolate on his own flat. In just less than 2 weeks, after experiencing symptoms persistently, Dondee sadly passed away on his bed unable to call 999.
"Dondee was a very upbeat person, happy and fun to be with. He was also very dedicated to his job as a nurse. Dondee was also the breadwinner of his family in the Philippines for his elderly mother and niece and nephews depending on his financial support.
"With no family present in England and only his next of kin from Scotland, family and friends are organising the cause in aid to Dondee’s funeral/processing of his remains as well as to support his family back home who is highly dependent on him.
" Any amount will help and will be much appreciated... Thank you very much."
You can find the fundraising page and make a donation here.
April 14, 2020