Tears in the UK as coronavirus kills exceptional Nigerian nurse Eyitolami Olaolorun who devoted her life to terminally-ill children

A good Nigerian nurse who devoted her life to terminally-ill children is being mourned in the United Kingdom after she was killed by the novel coronavirus.

Sixty-year old Eyitolami Olaolorun who had been a nurse for 40 years died on April 16.

She arrived in the UK 20 years ago with her four children after splitting with her husband.

Eyitolami Olaolorun (centre) with her children (left to right) Olajide, 33, Oluwadamilola, 27, Oladimeji, 29, and Oyinkansola Honey Iloba, 32. Eyitolami Olaolorun, a paediatric nurse from London, died after contracting Covid-19 
Eyitolami Olaolorun (centre) with her children (left to right) Olajide, 33, Oluwadamilola, 27, Oladimeji, 29, and Oyinkansola Honey Iloba, 32. Eyitolami Olaolorun, a paediatric nurse from London, died after contracting Covid-19

Reports in the United Kingdom said most recently, she worked at Wellington Hospital, a private centre in St John’s Wood, caring for young patients who were critically or terminally ill. She also worked for the NHS at various hospitals.

Daily Mail quoted Oyinkansola Honey Iloba as describing her mother as ‘selfless’ and ‘an exceptional woman’.

“She didn’t see her patients as just someone she was looking after, they were family,’ the 32-year-old said.

Eyitolami Olaolorun (centre) with her children (left to right) Olajide, 33, Oluwadamilola, 27, Oladimeji, 29, and Oyinkansola Honey Iloba, 32. Eyitolami Olaolorun, a paediatric nurse from London, died after contracting Covid-19

“There’s a picture of one of her patients on her wall. He’s pretty much our adopted younger brother because of how she saw him.

“She would spend Christmas with us and then spend it with her patients too, and always remembered birthdays.

“She raised all four of us by herself. We’re all graduates, we’re all doing well. That’s all because of her, she sacrificed everything for us.’

On a GoFundMe page created to support a foundation set up on her behalf, the four children described their mother as a “strong, hardworking, inspirational woman.”

“It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our sweet mother Eyitolami Olaolorun. Known fondly as Aunty Tola, Iya Junior and Iya Nurse.

“She was a strong, hardworking, inspirational woman. A mother to many. She touched and supported the lives of all the people she made contact with.

“She was an excellent paediatric nurse with 40 years of experience. She was caring and compassionate towards all her patients and their families, so much so, that some of them have become part of our extended family.

“Our mother meant the world to us having sacrificed her best years raising 4 children on her own. She worked tirelessly to ensure we were loved, nurtured and educated.

“The loss of our mother has left us heartbroken. We know that we are not alone in this loss, we share our pain with her siblings, her grandchildren, her extended family, our adopted aunts and uncles, her friends and the many children who she loved dearly,” they wrote.

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The late Eyitolami Olaolorun. Known fondly as Aunty Tola, Iya Junior and Iya Nurse.

The children said they created her foundation to continue her good work and support the family.

“We have created this funding page where you can donate to the family or to a foundation we are setting up in her name to continue her work helping young people in Nigeria access higher education,” Oluwadamilola Olaolorun, Oladimeji Olaolorun, Oyinkansola Iloba and Olajide Olaolorun wrote.

You can support her foundation here.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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