In a moving tribute a retired hospital worker who lost his life to COVID-19 was given a standing ovation by staff outside the Croydon NHS hospital he gave four decades of service to.

Sudesh Sidar, 70, fondly known to all as ‘Sid’, lived in Thornton Heath for over 40 years and was a kitchen porter at Croydon University Hospital.

His family paid tribute to hospital staff and asked the public to join a tribute to wear blue and post pictures on social media of them ‘staying home and staying safe’ to help the NHS on April 14 under the hashtag LOVESID.

Our picture posted on Twitter shows hospital staff clapping for Sid.

Sid joined the hospital team in September 1968 retiring from the Trust in 2008, but continued to visit regularly to share his stories and check-in with his friends and colleagues. 

He was admitted in to the care of the hospital, which had been a part of his life for 40 years, but sadly passed away on April 1 after testing positive for COVID-19. 

Sid leaves behind his wife Santosh Sidar, two sons Perdeep and Niten Sidar, daughter Seema Bagga and grandson Shyan Bagga.

Seema said: “Our father dedicated over four decades of his life to Croydon and Thornton Heath and we want to make sure that support for our community continues.

“It is our way to pay tribute to our father and every Croydon and Thornton Heath resident lost to Coronavirus. “

The family has also set up a crowdfunding appeal on Just Giving to raise £4,001 to provide emergency funds to help NHS Croydon University Hospital staff cope with the extraordinary demands of fighting COVID-19 and have so far raised £6,841.

“We are truly overwhelmed with the response that we have received. Our sincere thanks to all of you for your contributions and support. We have now gone over our target and are truly grateful! Anyone still wishing to donate, sky is the limit for us and we have slightly raised our target so please feel free to keep the contributions coming in. The NHS really needs our support at this difficult time.“

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The campaign set up by Perdeep reads “Our utmost gratitude and thanks to the NHS and all key workers for their incredible services and support during this time. 

“We would like to say a special thank you to Consultant Nephrologist, Dr Soper and his ward team who did their utmost to help.

“Thank you Dad for being our biggest inspiration and strength. We love you.”