The wife of a 50-year-old Samaritans volunteer who passed away from Covid-19 has thanked hospital workers for the compassion and dedication shown to her husband.
Nigel Pim, of Fenor in Waterford, lost his battle for life in the local University Hospital last Thursday. He is survived by his wife Jeni, their children Robert and Jordan, his father Alan and extended family.
Nigel was known for his selflessness and generosity of spirit. In 2010 he donated a kidney to his ailing father Alan who successfully received a transplant.
In an interview with thein 2011, the father of two said he was thrilled with the outcome of the transplant as it gave his then 72-year-old father a "new lease on life".
In an interview on, on WLRFM, his wife Jeni paid tribute to the frontline staff in UHW for their immense effort to keep her beloved husband alive.
She told broadcaster Damien Tiernan that she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support following the death of her husband who was completing an MBA in WIT at the time of his death.
"We can't believe it. He was so quiet and so unassuming. We have received so many messages. I have my phone off most of the time because it is so raw.
He was kind to everybody but he was my soulmate. There are so many people to thank. Everyone who sent a message, the Samaritans, old school people and business people. I am not able to reply to you all but just to let you know we really appreciate it."
Jeni says that as a family they were very careful in terms of Covid vigilance.
"I walked him into the hospital and I squeezed his hand and I said 'I will see you in a few days.' They brought him straight up to the Covid ward and I think at that stage he was one of the only ones in there. He got sicker and sicker and sicker. Then he was brought in to the ICU."
Ms Pim, who teaches in Ballymaloe Cookery school, said that staff in the ICU were doing incredible work in a bid to save lives.
"Every single one of them is doing their job and so much more. I tried not to ring very often because I felt that when they were talking to me on the phone they weren't helping him or other people."
Ms Pim was allowed to see her husband whilst gowned up with full PPE. She said the doctors and nurses spoke so kindly to her in a desperately sad time.
"Nigel's cousin Barbara Johnson is a dietician in ICU. I will never be able to thank her for all she did. Whenever I had to talk to the doctors she also offered to stay or come into me in the room. Waterford Hospital is absolutely incredible."
Jeni is pleading with the public to take Covid seriously having lost the love of her life to the virus.
"To see someone you love on all these machines is heartbreaking. He was only 50 years of age. We were going to be 25 years married this year. "
Jordan Pim said she would remember her father as a loving and kind man.
"We used to go to the gym together. I have this lovely photograph on my lock screen it is a picture of him and me we went to Italy before the pandemic hit. We were comparing our muscles on the bridge. We always used to be very competitive. Who lifted heavier weights in the gym? Obviously he was lifting far heavier weights."
Jordan said her father's illness started with a simple cough which she initially thought was "Man Flu."
"He got worse and he couldn't breathe. We brought him to hospital and he got worse from there. We put him on the ventilator and it was fine and then he wasn't."
Jeni Pim said that they were the "unlucky ones."
"It is so easy to look at the news and say 'oh god it is awful.' But he will never ask if he can make me a cup of tea again. He will never be able to share his knowledge because he was so knowledgeable about accounts and everything.
It is heartbreaking. If one person just stays at home it will make such a difference. We need to just stay at home please."
Jordan says people don't realise how sick you can get from Covid.
"There are loads of people just out and about and they don't care. They think it is just a stupid cold. It is not a stupid cold. People die. At the start I remember Leo Varadkar saying about people having underlying illnesses.
"There was nothing wrong with Dad. He was healthy. We went to the gym. We were running. We were eating the most amazing food made by my mum. It is not like he was smoking a 20-pack a day. He was a swimmer as well so his lungs were in good health. It can happen to anyone."
Robert Pim says that people can be angry and frustrated at the virus but they still need to obey the rules in order to prevent heartbreaking deaths like the loss of his father.
"You can think outside of the box. Zoom meetings with your friends. Stay at home if at all possible. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Keep your social distancing."