Emergency nurse dies after catching Covid at work as an investigation is launched to find out how the mother-of-three was infected in the Melbourne hospital
- Gillian ‘Jill’ Dempsey died at Box Hill Hospital on Sunday after catching Covid-19
- The mother-of-three was an emergency nurse at Melbourne’s Angliss Hospital
- The nursing union said she is believed to have contracted the virus at work
- WorkSafe will launch an investigation into how Ms Dempsey caught the illness
A Victorian emergency nurse has died after catching Covid as an investigation is launched into how she contracted the virus.
Gillian ‘Jill’ Dempsey, who worked at Angliss Hospital in Melbourne’s outer east, died on Sunday afternoon after a battle with Covid.
The nursing union on Tuesday said the mother-of-three died in the ICU at Box Hill Hospital and is understood to have caught the illness at work.
‘It is with the heaviest of hearts we acknowledge the death of Angliss Hospital emergency department nurse Jill Dempsey after contracting Covid-19,’ the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation said in a statement.
Melbourne nurse Gillian ‘Jill’ Dempsey (pictured) has died after a battle with Covid-19
‘Our thoughts are with Jill’s family, friends and nursing colleagues. There are difficult days ahead. Please look after each other.’
Ms Dempsey is believed to be the first Victorian hospital worker to die from coronavirus.
The union said the tragedy was a reminder of the vulnerability of healthcare workers.
‘This is something we feared and a sobering reminder that nurses, midwives and all healthcare workers are on the pandemic frontline,’ it said.
‘We acknowledge their bravery and courage. This is a reminder of how vulnerable they are.
‘Nurses and midwives don’t want to be heroes, they want to go home to their families and loved ones at the end of a shift. ANMF will continue to work to ensure nurses, midwives and carers are safe at work.’
Tributes have begun pouring in for the beloved nurse, who is survived by her husband Michael and their three children.
The nursing union said Ms Dempsey was understood to have contracted the virus while working at Angliss Hospital, in Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs
Friend Kathryn Woolmore said she was ‘broken’ by Ms Dempsey’s death.
‘Jill, you have left us WAY to soon. Life can be so unfair. Your beautiful family were your life and I know you were so very proud of them. They too are so proud of you,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘You have put up such a brave fight. I miss you little one, nothing is the same now.
‘The world was a better place with you in it. Sleep peacefully Jill.’
Eastern Health, where Ms Dempsey worked for the past 14 years, released a statement mourning the loss of their ‘colleague and friend’.
The healthcare service said Ms Dempsey would be remembered as ‘an incredibly caring wife and mother’.
‘Jill commenced work at Eastern Health in 2007 and has been an incredibly hard working and beloved night shift nurse in the Angliss Hospital Emergency Department,’ it said.
‘Her colleagues speak highly of the care, warmth and compassion that Jill demonstrated every day.’
The mother-of-three has been remembered as an ‘incredibly caring mother and wife’
ANMF Victorian secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said it was the union’s understanding Ms Dempsey caught the virus at work.
She said WorkSafe will launch an investigation into how the beloved nurse came to be infected.
‘[Her death] has hit people very hard, and it’s been very, very difficult. It’s still very raw. She was seen to be very much loved by her colleagues, very experienced and it’s been very hard to take,’ Ms Fitzpatrick told The Age.
Under Victorian rules, nurses must be vaccinated against Covid to work in hospitals.
A GoFundMe page launched on Tuesday to help raise money for her devastated family raised more than $13,000 in 10 hours.
‘Jill was a much loved member of the team and this pandemic has taken its toll on everyone but none more so than our beloved Jilly and her family,’ organiser Sandy Taylor wrote.