Covid death doctor Irfan Halim touched lives, brother says
The brother of a doctor who died after contracting Covid-19 said he “touched a lot of lives” helping people.
Dr Irfan Halim, 45, from Swindon’s Great Western Hospital, was taken ill on 10 September after collapsing on a coronavirus ward where he was working.
The father-of-four died nine weeks later having not learned of his own father’s death with Covid in September.
Amir Halim told the BBC he would make sure his brother’s children knew “what an amazing person he was”.
Dr Irfan Halim had dedicated 25 years of work to the NHS as a surgeon, but when the coronavirus pandemic hit he switched to working on the frontline.
He came from a family of doctors and had a degree in law and had completed an MBA.
“There are people who have managed to get out of this infection unscathed
and managed to have a very mild infection, but eventually it’s going to affect someone
you love in a very bad way.”
Amir Halim said his family have been “shocked and devastated” by the loss.
Paying tribute to his brother, he told the BBC’s Today programme: “He was always very happy, very energetic. Till the day he passed a week ago he was exactly the same.
“We hoped that he would recover and given his age, he was a fit and well young man. I think that’s partly why we are so shocked and devastated.
“Until the day we were informed of the impending news, we had always hoped that he would pull through.”
Amir Halim described how his brother “suddenly deteriorated” and, being a medical doctor himself, he knew “nothing else could be done at that stage”.
When Dr Irfan Halim was on the hospital’s intensive care unit, his primary focus was his dad, Dr Kamal Halim, who later died without him knowing, he said.
Dr Irfan Halim was put on a ventilator and transferred to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London where he stayed for nine weeks before he died on 14 November.
“He touched a lot of lives. He had the abilities to help a lot of people in so many different ways,” Amir Halim said.
“I will make sure his two sons and his two daughters grow up knowing what an amazing person their father was.
“We have struggled at times. Saying it’s been the worst two months of my life is simply an understatement.”
With Covid cases rising daily, he warned about how “we don’t know who it’s going to affect and how badly.
“This virus doesn’t care if you are a gifted individual, it doesn’t care if you are rich or poor and it will continue to affect lives unless we take necessary actions, which include getting your vaccinations, getting your boosters – limiting unnecessary contacts.
“There are people who have managed to get out of this infection unscathed and managed to have a very mild infection, but eventually it’s going to affect someone you love in a very bad way.”
Dr Edmond Adedeji and Dr Thaung Htaik, who worked at the same hospital, also died with coronavirus last year.
Swindon health officials have sent their condolences to the family.
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