A “paramedic hero in green” who died with Covid-19 symptoms was described as a “true gent” as a massive £22,000 was donated for his grieving family.
The ambulance worker is the first frontline employee from the North West Ambulance Service, which covers Merseyside and Cheshire, to die with coronavirus.
He served for more than 20 years in the Wigan area.
An online fundraising bid, initially only set up to amass £500 for his relatives, has reached a staggering £22,000, and is still rising.
About 1,000 separate people have pledged cash.
In a tribute, from work colleagues and close friends, they said: “We are wanting to offer support to the family of a North West paramedic, who lost his short fight against Covid-19.
“He served as a paramedic for over 20 years in Wigan and has helped to save many lives over this time.
“He was a much loved son, husband, dad, friend and work colleague to many.
“He always had a smile, was a true gent and would do anything to help others, so this is our opportunity to help his family at this devastating time.
“He was taken far too early and this virus has ripped a family apart.
“We appreciate times are hard, so a penny or a pound will help.
“You will be forever our paramedic hero in green and our friend.”
Many others paid their own tributes.
One man said: “He was a true gentleman, a very kind, gentle caring man.
“Always had a smile and always had five minutes for a chat.”
More than 70 frontline NHS staff are confirmed to have died during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Simon Clarke, minister of state for regional growth and local government, said 49 NHS staff have died in the coronavirus fight, however, this is only a partial picture.
Local NHS trusts across the country have paid tribute to individuals who died while working on the front lines.
More than 70 deaths of NHS staff have been verified since March 25, with more than a dozen others yet to be confirmed.
To donate the the fund, visit here