Melbourne nurse dies from Covid: Mum-of-three remembered as 'incredible'

·3-min read

A Melbourne nurse who tragically died from Covid-19 is being remembered as a "beloved" and "incredibly caring" colleague, mother and friend.

Gillian "Jill" Dempsey contracted Covid-19 and passed away in the Box Hill Hospital ICU on Sunday afternoon.

She is believed to be the first Victorian healthcare worker to die after contracting Covid.

Jill Dempsey died from Covid-19. Photo if woman longer brown hair smiling at camera with foliage in background.
Jill Dempsey died from Covid-19. Source: GoFundMe

Survived by her husband and three children

Her employer, Eastern Health, has released a statement mourning the sad death of the mother of three.

"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," the statement read.

"Her colleagues speak highly of the care, warmth and compassion that Jill demonstrated every day.

"Her loss will reverberate around the tight-knit team at the Angliss Hospital and our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues at this time.

"We respectfully request kindness, compassion and privacy at this time."

Jill is survived by her husband Michael and their three children.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts we acknowledge the death of Angliss Hospital ED nurse Jill Dempsey after contracting Covid-19," the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation said in a statement.

"Our thoughts are with Jill’s family, friends and colleagues. There are difficult days ahead. Please look after each other.

"We have been very fortunate despite a large number of nurses testing positive. This is something we feared and a sobering reminder that nurses, midwives and all healthcare workers are on the pandemic frontline.

Box Hill Hospita in Melbourne. Brown brick building with trees out the front.
The mother of three passed away in intensive care at Box Hill Hospital on Sunday. Source: Google Maps

"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."

The ANMF urged everyone in Victoria to take Covid-19 seriously and reminded nurses and midwives that support is available if is needed.

"Please know nurses, midwives and personal care worker are doing everything they can to care for you," the ANMF said.

"Please take every measure you can to take care of them."

'Kind and compassionate'

Almost $27,000 has been donated for her family via a fundraising page, but tributes flooding in for the nurse.

"Sympathies, prayers and love to the family left behind," one woman wrote.

"As a fellow frontliner, I am really saddened that you have lost your life doing the thing you absolutely love. Rest well."

"You were so lovely to work with and your care was second to none," a colleague wrote.

"We spent many nights together at work. To say condolences to your family just isn’t enough. Bless you all."

"I am heartbroken to hear of Jill's passing, she was such a kind, compassionate and all round beautiful person," wrote another.

"I am sending all my love to her family, who I am sure are just as beautiful as Jill was."

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