TRIBUTES have been paid to a “compassionate” nurse who has died from Covid-19.

Wilbald Tesha dedicated 30 years of his life working for the NHS before catching coronavirus in July.

The father, who was known to his friends at Tesha, worked as an A&E psychiatric liaison nurse at the Eastbourne District General Hospital.

He spent time in intensive care before dying last Wednesday.

Friend and former colleague Jason O'Flaherty said: “One night, whilst working as a nurse he felt unwell and had to go home. Quickly after that his health worsened.

“I was in close contact with Tesha whilst he was in hospital and even when Tesha was very ill in the intensive care unit when I asked him if there was anything he needed me to do for him, all he asked for was for me to move forward with the school project in his home village.  

“Tesha was an extremely talented, caring and humble man, thinking only of others when he was dealing with the most challenging and critical situation in his own life.”

Originally from Tanzania, Tesha always remembered his roots and regularly went back home.

Mr O'Flaherty said he would often comment how lucky he was in receiving an education that allowed him to move from his very poor village, Shimbwe, which did not have “even the most basic facilities to develop a successful career”.  

Prior to his death, Tesha had been talking at length with charity Wishing Well about developing a new project to support children and families from the village.

The Argus:

A fundraiser to create the legacy project has raised nearly £3,000.

Tesha first trained as a secondary school teacher in Tanzania before moving to the UK.

He trained as a psychiatric nurse at the Eastbourne School of Nursing. 

After completing nurse training Tesha remained in Eastbourne and worked for the NHS for 30 years.

Tesha was employed by the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust and spent most of his time working at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

The Argus:

The trust has paid tribute to the “much-loved” health worker saying he will be remembered for making a significant contribution to the NHS, local services and for supporting his community in Tanzania and the charity he was involved in.

Sam Allen, trust chief executive, said: "My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues in Eastbourne at this incredibly difficult time.

"I have heard many, many wonderful things about Tesha about what a kind, caring and compassionate nurse he was – a good friend to many and someone who would do anything to help another.

“I know he will be dearly missed and over the days and weeks ahead we will do all we can to support his family, friends and colleagues.

"I do not under-estimate the impact of his loss across the teams in East Sussex, particularly all who worked with him in Eastbourne and on the many patients Tesha will have come to know over his many years in the service.

“I know our psychology team has been in touch with colleagues in East Sussex to discuss immediate support needs.  We are of course all here to support our colleagues who knew him well, both as a colleague and a friend."

Mr Allen has spoken with Dr Adrian Bull, chief executive of Eastbourne Hospital, to convey the trust's heartfelt thanks to all the clinical staff who cared for Tesha.