A nurse who worked alongside her sister at Queen Elizabeth Hospital is currently in intensive care two weeks after her sister died from Covid-19.

Esther Akinsanya, 55, died on April 15 inside the intensive care unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she had worked for over 20 years.

Mary Idowu, 61, lived with her sister and worked alongside her at the Woolwich hospital but also fell ill and has tested positive for coronavirus.

Both were nurses, and both worked on the frontline in the Covid-19 wards.

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Esther's son Sam now says the family faces the "greatest tragedy of all time" if they lose both his mother and his aunt to the virus.

Sam Akinsanya, a Amazon delivery driver and photographer, said it was "one of the scariest moments of his life" losing his mother, and two weeks later they are still waiting on 'Big M' to recover.

The three lived together in Thamesmead along with Sam's younger sister Rachel and his own son Elisha.

"They raised me, so it's tough to go through," he said.

"To lose one is awful, but to lose two, the two people who raised you, it would be the worst tragedy of all time."

It is thought one of the nurses caught the virus from a patient, but both quickly became ill at the same time and were admitted into hospital within hours of each other.

Mary was hit the hardest early on, going straight into intensive care in early April and immediately being sedated.

Sam's mother Esther was initially better, but slowly deteriorated.

On April 15, she skyped Sam to tell him she was going to be sedated, and also told him to 'look after your sister'. She died two hours later.

Two weeks on, Mary has spent an extended period of time in a coma, but Sam said she was now beginning to improve.

"Four days ago she started to wake up. She's still on a ventillator and clearly its taking a while for her brain to properly wake up after so long under.

"She's doing well, but there's a long way to go."

"What's really tough is we're not allowed to see her, video call or anything. We just want us to hear our voices."

However, with Mary still in intensive care, she does not yet know about her sister's death.

"That's something we'll have to deal with when the road gets there. It's scary."

In a tribute to his mum, Sam described Esther as a "caring, loving, selfless person" who loved her job and helping people.

He said she was "the pillar of our family," and even at work she was nicknamed 'matron' by her colleagues as a mark of respect.

Esther Akinsanya is just one of the many NHS frontline staff from a black and ethnic minority background who have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus.

Sam said that neither Esther or Mary had mentioned problems with PPE at work, but both were not the type to complain.

"Were they being protected, cared for? I have no idea.

"But my mum isn't here anymore, and my aunty is fighting for her life.

"Clearly it's not enough, and staff are dying. I hope that after this there is an honest and open conversation about what's happened and what's gone wrong."

He added: "No one expects it until it hits your home like it has ours.

"I only hope the NHS is nurtured and given everything it needs, because without the NHS we are in trouble."