Alfa Sa’adu had retired from the medical field after a long and storied career in both Africa and the United Kingdom but felt compelled to come out of retirement to help the fight against the coronavirus.
Now, the 68-year-old doctor has died after contracting the virus and falling ill. As the New York Post reported, Sa’adu passed away on Tuesday morning, close to two weeks after he had been infected. His passing has prompted an outpouring of condolences from across the world and praise for his selfless sacrifices to help others.
Sa’adu Left Retirement To Help Save Lives
Sa’adui’s death was announced on Wednesday by his son, Dani, who wrote in a social media post that his father felt he needed to use his talents to help people who had contracted the deadly virus.
Though Sa’adu had retired close to four years ago, he decided to return to work, Dani shared.
“‘My dad was a living legend, worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years saving people’s lives here and in Africa,” Dani wrote, via the New York Post. “Up until he got sick, he was still working part-time saving people.”
Today, 31 March, 2020.I lost an uncle – Dr. Alfa Saadu (Galadiman Pategi) to #COVID19 in the UK. A retired volunteer medical Dr. that contracted the virus trying to save lives.
This thing is not a joke. Please ????????????????#stayhome and #staysafe. May Allah have mercy on his soul. Amin pic.twitter.com/ZyX7qlGAgy
— Ahmadu Galadima (@AhmaduGaladima) March 31, 2020
Sa’adu had been working at Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn until the time he fell ill. Prior to his final stint fighting the coronavirus, the physician was known for his contributions across two continents. As the New York Post noted, Sa’adu had immigrated to the U.K. from Nigeria and was remembered for his work in Africa and across England. Bukola Saraki, a former senate leader in Nigeria, penned a tribute to the late doctor that acknowledged his important work there.
“Dr. Sa’adu provided leadership for our people in the diaspora,” Saraki wrote.
As the BBC reported, tens of thousands of retired medical professionals have returned to work across the United Kingdom as the rapid spread of the coronavirus has strained capacity at hospitals. The report noted that the National Health Service sent letters to more than 65,000 retired doctors and nurses in England and Wales asking them to return. Many, like Sa’adu, answered the call.
Sa’adu Remembered As ‘Passionate Man’ Who Saved Lives
Beyond his reputation as a world-renowned doctor, Sa’adu is also being remembered as a caring man who loved sharing knowledge of medicine with others.
Dr. Alfa Saadu died from the #coronavirus after coming out of retirement to save lives in the UK.
May Allah accept him as a martyr. pic.twitter.com/J6lEbL7w47
— IlmFeed (@IlmFeed) April 1, 2020
“As soon as you spoke to him about medicine his face would light up,” his son said in an interview with HuffPost UK. “He loved to lecture people in the world of medicine — he did so in the U.K. and Africa.”
“He was a massive family man and we did everything together. Family came first. He left two sons and a wife, who is a retired doctor herself in occupational health.”
Many others have taken to social media to mourn Sa’adu’s death, with some calling him a martyr for willingly returning to practice and help patients despite the dangers of the virus itself. The coronavirus has been deadliest for patients over the age of 60.