Tributes to nurse Aimee O'Rourke

Published on 3 April 2020

A nurse from the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Aimee O’Rourke died in the hospital’s Critical Care Unit late on Thursday, 2 April. She was 39.

Aimee joined the Acute Medical Unit as a newly qualified nurse in 2017 and ward manager Julie Gammon said the whole team had been left devastated by her death.

She said: “She was such a kind and caring nurse, and she had a really special relationship with her patients and colleagues.

“Nursing was something she had always wanted to do, although she came to it relatively late after raising her girls.

“She took some time out to care for her mum after she was diagnosed with cancer and she was determined to return and to make her mum proud.

“Aimee was a really valuable part of our work family and would always offer to help if she could. She was really growing and developing in her skills and confidence and I know she would have gone on to have a great career.”

When Aimee was first brought into the hospital with symptoms of COVID-19, she asked for Julie and her colleague was able to sit with her in the emergency department.

Julie said: “It was an honour to be able to be with her and to provide some comfort and I am so glad that I was able to do so.”

Susan Acott, Chief Executive of East Kent Hospitals, said the thoughts of everyone at the Trust were with Aimee’s family and friends.

She said: “Aimee was hard-working, dedicated and hugely popular with staff and patients alike.

“She gave her all to care for our patients and her commitment was evident for all to see.

"On behalf of the whole Trust I would like to offer our sincere condolences to her girls, whom she adored, and to all her family and friends.

“I would also like to pay tribute to our teams in the emergency department and our Critical Care Unit who cared for Aimee with such compassion and kindness.”

Amanda Hallums, Chief Nurse at East Kent Hospitals, said everyone who worked alongside Aimee was heartbroken at her death.

She said: “We are a work family and it is devastating to lose one of our own.

“Aimee was determined to provide the best possible care to all of her patients and continued to come to work at a time when others were staying at home and inside.

“We will forever remember her smile, her concern for her patients and her colleagues, and her willingness to always go above and beyond.”

There will be a permanent memorial at the hospital to remember Aimee and her care and commitment to her patients and colleagues, and this will be arranged in discussion with Aimee’s family, friends and the staff who worked with her.