The death of an “outgoing” nurse who contracted Covid-19 has left his partner feeling “empty”.
Rob Healey had worked in various roles for North Bristol NHS Trust for 20 years before his death in December.
He met his partner of 25 years Colin Purnell through a lonely hearts club. Mr Purnell said he would now “find things very quiet”.
Mr Healey had been working most recently in the emergency department of Bristol’s Southmead Hospital.
When the pandemic began, the 56-year-old decided to leave his research job in the NHS to work as a nurse but he caught the infection which then led to a blood clot on his lungs.
“Rob was a very fun-loving person. Very outgoing and friends with absolutely everybody,” said Mr Purnell.
“He wanted to be on the frontline. He felt that he was of more use doing things like that than being in research.
“I think I’m going to find things very quiet. Everything just seems empty,” he added.
Southmead Hospital emergency department matron Anna Bell described Mr Healey as a “true gentleman, who always had a smile”.
“The outpouring we’ve had since his death. The messages on Facebook have been absolutely brilliant and they’ve helped me through it all,” said Mr Purnell.
“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’ve gone through and I just hope that we come out of it soon,” he added.
Bristol resident Rachel O’Connor also lost her aunt Jan Docker to Covid-19 just before Christmas.
Ms Docker, aged 55, was a special needs teacher in London and had no underlying health conditions.
“I think people’s perception of Covid is that you get ill, there’s warning you’ll end up in ICU there’s time to hopefully recover, or say goodbye to loved ones but in our case it was sadly not to be.
“I’ve seen how bad it can be for people but it’s not until you lose a loved one that you realise how dangerous this virus actually is,” she said.