Super-fit paramedic, 57, ‘taken down in a week’ by coronavirus as heartbroken pals pay tribute to dad-of-two army vet – The Sun

HEARTBROKEN pals have paid tribute to a super-fit paramedic who died from coronavirus despite having no underlying health conditions.

Colleagues gathered outside Halifax ambulance station in West Yorkshire where Mark Stanley, 57, was based for three decades after military service and working for the UN in Cyprus.

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The specialist paramedic died in Calderdale Royal Hospital on Thursday after a week-long battle with the virus.

Friend Mark Rattigan, who is also a paramedic, said that Mr Stanley "was as fit as a lop.

"He used to do open water swimming, he cycled everywhere, he didn't smoke, he drank infrequently, he looked after himself.

"When we were having fish and chips he'd be having a salad and nuts.

"He was as fit as you can get for a 57-year-old.

"You would struggle to find a 30-year-old with his level of fitness.

"But it's taken him down in a week."

Mr Rattigan said they'd been friends for 32 years, and that he'd known Mr Stanley "from when he came out of the Army".

Mr Stanley, who was a paramedic for more than 30 years after military service in the Life Guards, leaves a wife and two grown-up daughters.

Paying tribute, his mate added: "He was just a very, very decent, dedicated guy who lived for his family.

"I aspire to be someone like him. He was such a great bloke."

Colleagues gathered outside his station in Halifax on Thursday evening to pay tribute to him during the Clap For Carers.

Sam Everatt, 27, told Yorkshire Live that Mr Stanley inspired him to become a paramedic.

The family pal added: "Mark and my father served for the UN in Cyprus together well before I was born.

"He was so intelligent, humble and eager to share his knowledge.

"He was pure class."


Mr Stanley, from Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, was the second member of Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) staff to die this week after contracting Covid-19.

The other has not been named but YAS said they were an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, from North Yorkshire, who died on Tuesday.

Chief Executive Rod Barnes said: "Both colleagues had worked tirelessly for many years serving their local communities, and were married with families.

"On behalf of everyone at YAS, we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to their families.

"We know that many people within the trust are affected by this very tragic news and we are supporting our staff at this very difficult time."

'Caring'

Mr Stanley is one of more than 100 workers on the health frontline to have lost their lives to coronavirus.

Dad-of-two Anujkumar Kuttikkottu Pavithran, 44, passed away on Monday April 27 at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincs., where he worked as a staff nurse.

He was an NHS key worker who qualified as a nurse just a few months ago after nearly a decade of training.

The dedicated key worker continued in the role despite being diabetic, meaning he was in a category of people the government has deemed 'high risk'.

A fundraising appeal has been set up to support Anuj's wife and children, who have been left with no income, according to Kumar's friend Jerry Varghese.

Since his death, hundreds of tributes have poured in for Mr Pavithran, who was described as "dedicated", "ambitious" and "caring".

The United Lincolnshire's Hospitals NHS Trust's chief executive Andrew Morgan said he was "deeply saddened" by Mr Pavithran's death.

He added: "He was a very well liked, professional, respected member of the team and will be greatly missed."


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