A LEADING heart surgeon has died of coronavirus – making him the 12th frontline medic to die from the killer bug.
Dad-of-two Jitendra Rathod, 58, has been described as a "wonderful human being," after his colleagues battled to save his life at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
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Mr Rathod – known at Jitu – died at his hospital yesterday after being admitted to intensive care.
He is the sixth doctor and 11th frontline medic to die from cornavirus.
A statement by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: "It is with profound sadness that we must inform you that Mr Jitendra Rathod, associate specialist in cardiothoracic surgery, has passed away.
"He died early this morning on our general intensive care unit after testing positive for Covid-19."
The dad-of-two was described as an "incredibly dedicated surgeon" who cared deeply for his patients and was highly regarded in the medical profession in Wales.
A cardiothoracic surgeon is a specialist who operates on the heart, lungs and other organs in the chest.
The health board added: "He was well-liked and and greatly respected by one and all.
"He was very compassionate and a wonderful human being. His commitment to the speciality was exemplary. He is survived by his wife and two sons."
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Mr Rathod worked in the department of cardio-throacic surgery since the mid 1990s. He had a brief stint abroad before returning to UHW in 2006.
Yesterday, Public Health Wales recorded 27 further coronavirus deaths in Wales – bringing the country's total to 193.
Meanwhile the UK coronavirus death toll broke the 5,000 mark, with a total of 51,608 across the UK having now tested positive for the bug.
It comes as the colleagues of a midwife who died from coronavirus lined the walls of a hospital ward to share their grief.
Lynsay Coventry, 54, died at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust on Thursday April 2 – just a day before long-serving nurse Liz Glanister died in Liverpool.
Two other nurses, five doctors and two healthcare assistants have also died in the UK after contracting covid-19.
John Alagos, 23, is believed to be the youngest British medic to have died from the deadly bug – collapsing after a 12 hour hospital shift.
Last week, six children were also robbed of their hero mums as nurses Aimee O'Rourke, 38, and Areema Nasreen, 36, died after treating patients.
Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, from Leigh-on-Sea, is one of five doctors to have died from the bug.
The well-respected GP died in intensive care at Southend Hospital, Essex, on March 25.
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