The family and colleagues of a nurse who dedicated nearly 20 years to the NHS have paid tribute to honour his life.

Ernesto “Boyet” Tamayo, aged 44, was an NHS nurse who worked at Watford General Hospital and Peterborough City Hospital during his 20-year career at the national health service.

After getting his nursing degree in the Philippines, he later moved to England to join Watford General Hospital in 2003.

During this time, he worked to care for the elderly and the Intensive Care Unit, before becoming a senior staff nurse.

He received a series of nominations and awards over these years for providing improved patient experience, his hard work and his care and compassion.

Watford Observer: Ernesto worked at Watford General and later Peterborough City HospitalErnesto worked at Watford General and later Peterborough City Hospital

The “exemplary” nurse later left his senior staff nurse position in 2017 and joined Peterborough City Hospital, and he worked in the frontline over the pandemic providing his nursing expertise.

His former colleague, Narlo Sumilhig, explained that Mr Tamayo had a “cheeky personality” with an “infectious smile”.

He said: “He is a very generous man, he has always been supporting his family in the Philippines even before he came to the UK.

“He is selfless - to a point wherein they have to sell their properties to raise funds to pay for medical bills for family members.”

Recalling Mr Tamayo’s generosity, he said: “I remember him being generous in providing me a place to stay in his house and meals for a few weeks when I started work in Peterborough.

“He even gave me lifts as I didn’t have a car that time.”

His wife Katherine called him a “loving, selfless husband, father, son, brother, colleague and friend”.

Watford Observer: Ernesto had an infectious smileErnesto had an infectious smile

She left a touching tribute dedicated to her husband and said: “No words can express how grateful and proud I am to have been chosen by God to journey life with you. I know you know everyday, I thank God I woke up knowing that I love you and you loved me. 

“Life has not been easy for you and at a very young age despite this, your love for others and your family flows like a river. Your smile and happy presence is contagious that you never fail to make other's especially your friends and patient put a smile on their faces.

She explained that his love for nursing and compassion is “second to none”.

“During the harrowing months pandemic, you were a frontline staff, with fear and anxiety brought to you not being able to be near your beloved son and wife, you brushed it off and fought tirelessly for the patient and the NHS, refused to be off work for the last 18 years of your service for the NHS,” she said.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s chief nurse Tracey Carter said: “Staff who knew Ernesto will be very sad to hear about his death.

“He was a committed nurse dedicated to his work in ICU. He was a great team member and he will be missed by everyone who knew him.”

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