Family of much-loved Leeds nurse Khuli Nkala who died from Covid visits memorial bench on anniversary

The family of much-loved Leeds nurse Khuli Nkala who died from Covid visited a new memorial bench on the anniversary of his death.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 4:45 pm
Khuli Nkala

Khuli Nkala, 46, who worked as a charge nurse in the forensic services team at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, died from coronavirus on April 17 2020.

A memorial bench, which has been engraved with a special phrase, was unveiled in the central courtyard at the Newsam Centre in Seacroft, where Mr Nkala worked over the weekend.

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A year ago covid took Khuli Nkala, a wonderful husband, Dad & family man & inspirational nurse, colleague role model & mentor to many cc Sara Munro

The bench has been engraved with the words 'Have a good shift' - the phrase Mr Nkala greeted colleagues with during his working day.

Dr Sara Munro, CEO of Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said his family had visited the bench on Saturday.

She tweeted: "A year ago covid took Khuli Nkala, a wonderful husband, Dad & family man & inspirational nurse, colleague role model & mentor to many.

A year ago covid took Khuli Nkala, a wonderful husband, Dad & family man & inspirational nurse, colleague role model & mentor to many cc Sara Munro

"Our matron Claire Layton arranged for an everlasting memorial in his honour which his family visited today."

Claire Layton, matron of forensic services, said Khuli's Zimbabwean culture would have been to celebrate his life with food music, food, friends and family.

However, due to Covid restrictions the Trust felt this way the best way to mark that he was "gone but not forgotten".

Cathy Woffendin, director of nursing professions and quality, said: “The last year has been particularly challenging with a time for reflection, at times of sadness for those of us who have lost loved ones and those we care about.

"As we have now reached the 12-month milestone of living in a pandemic, I would like to take the time to pay tribute to our staff members who sadly died from Covid.

“Khuli was a man of integrity, honour and wit, and had a smile that brightened up everyone’s day.

"His presence was felt by all who came into contact with him. He was kind, caring and compassionate, and extremely professional.

“He was an excellent, positive role model for the nursing profession, and he demonstrated the trust's values in his everyday work.

"Nothing was ever too much trouble.

"A kind, humble gentleman who continues to be greatly missed by everyone.”