An inspirational Marie Curie nurse who dedicated herself to helping terminally ill patients in Bromley has died from Covid-19.

Barbara Sage, 68, sadly became the first Marie Curie worker to die from coronavirus, passing away in intensive care on Easter Sunday.

She spent 14 years as a senior healthcare assistant in Bromley, helping terminally ill patients towards the end of their lives, and members of family and work colleagues have paid emotional tributes to the The grandmother of five.

Matthew Reed, Marie Curie chief executive, said Barbara's death is a "devastating loss" for the team, adding that she will be greatly missed.

“I’ve spoken to Donna (Barbara's daughter) who told me how her mother had spent all her life as a palliative care nurse, holding the hands of dying people and hugging their loved ones.

"She told me how she and the rest of the family couldn’t hold Barbara’s hand as she was dying. They couldn’t hug her goodbye."

"This pain is something that so many families are having to go through right now," said Mr Reed.

Overall, Barbara spent 40 years in palliative care, and daughter Donna said she was "kind and caring and fun."

"She loved life, her family, her grandkids and she loved her job,” Donna recalled.

“She was a very warm person… I suppose she had all the normal attributes of a Marie Curie Nurse. I guess you have to be like that in their line of work, don't you? She was dedicated to caring for people.”

Barbara started out as an ambulance driver in London when she 18, and then decided she wanted to become a nurse.

She joined Marie Curie in 2006, working most recently as a Senior Healthcare Assistant in Bromley.

“Mum always said her job wasn't about the getting paid, it was about being there for people when they need it,” said Donna.

“It was about being caring and kind and giving people your time.

“She wouldn't just get up and leave at the end of her shift. She'd stay on to support the families or wait for the coroner if needs be.”

Donna recalls how her mum’s line of work affected how she viewed the end of life, too, giving her a special kind of wisdom.

“Because Mum had been there when people had taken their last breaths and laid out so many bodies, she wasn't afraid of death,” said Donna.

“That’s something I take comfort from right now. She used to say to me that life was like a lightbulb, one minute it's there, and then ping, it goes, it's still hot but the light starts to fade away. That's how she described being there with someone in their last moments.”

Clinical nurse manager Adebusola also paid tribute to the "incredible" woman, describing one time she was looking after a dying patient with a disabled son with Downs syndrome in Bromley.

His wife and carer had to go to hospital, and Barbara took over, getting the patient into the local hospice so he could be looked after and then staying at home with the son, looking after him until social workers arrived.

“She'd started her shift at 10pm the night before, and she left the family's house at 1pm the next day. She hadn't slept, she was amazing and if that's not kindness and dedication then I don't know what is.”

Barbara’s partner Gerald, her children Donna and Aaron, and her five grandchildren plan to celebrate Barbara’s life at a memorial later in the year.