Nurse died of haemorrhage after contracting Covid, inquest concludes

Estrella Catalan

An inquest into the death of Estrella Catalan was heard at Norfolk Coroner's Court on Thursday, March 11. - Credit: JustGiving

A "hugely loved" Norwich nurse died after suffering a brain haemorrhage due to Covid-19, an inquest has heard.

An inquest was held into the death of Estrella Catalan at Norfolk Coroner's Court on Thursday, March 11.

Jacqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk, said Mrs Catalan, who was born on August 9, 1968, in the Philippines, died on Friday, February 5.

In written evidence, her son Christian, a student nurse at the University of East Anglia, said he began working on Brundall Ward, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, which was a red Covid ward, while his mum worked in the hospital's A&E department.

After finishing his last shift before Christmas on December 10 he tested positive for coronavirus on December 22 and self-isolated in his bedroom.

Mrs Catalan's last shift was on December 19 and following her son's positive test she self-isolated at home with her family. She and her husband Melvin both tested positive, with Mrs Catalan's condition deteriorating. She was admitted to the NNUH on December 28.

Her son said his mum experienced severe symptoms including shortness of breath, a high temperature and extreme fatigue. 

Her son said: "Mum bought an oxygen saturation monitor from Amazon and it arrived the next morning. As I got better my mother started to deteriorate." 

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Mr Catalan said that he and his mum adhered to all infection control protocols and wore full personal protective equipment, including surgical masks and disposable aprons and gloves. She also had enhanced PPE.

In his statement, Mr Catalan said: "Me and my mother followed infection protocol to protect ourselves and our family. 

"Our family really did not go out as we followed the government guidelines. My dad was the only person that went out once a month, while everyone else stayed at home."

Mrs Catalan's medical cause of death was recorded as an intracerebral haemorrhage due to Covid-19. Mrs Lake concluded that Mrs Catalan's cause of death was of natural causes.

She said evidence showed the nurse adhered to infection control protocol and offered her sympathies to Mrs Catalan's family.

Mrs Catalan, 52, began working at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in 2002. 

The funeral of nurse Estrella Catalan at St John's RC Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The funeral of nurse Estrella Catalan at St John's Roman Catholic Cathedral. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Following her death, tributes poured in for the "hugely loved nurse". A Requiem Mass was held at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist on March 5.