Anger Over Lack Of PPE For Nurse Gareth Roberts


Anger Over Lack Of PPE For Nurse Gareth Roberts

A nurse who died after contracting coronavirus “paid the ultimate price” due to a lack of personal protective equipment, a friend has claimed.

Gareth Roberts, 65, worked as a nurse across the Cardiff and Vale health board area for over 40 years.

The husband, father and grandfather died in hospital in Merthyr Tydfil in the early hours of Saturday morning.

His friend said he had little to no protection against the virus. The health board has been asked to comment.

“He didn’t have PPE. In the beginning he said he didn’t have anything,” his childhood friend Janette Leonard said.

“He had a paper mask, plastic gloves and a pinny, that’s alright if you are making sandwiches but not when you are going to nurse people with the disease.”

Mr Roberts had devoted his life to caring for people, working as a nurse since the 1980s and coming out of retirement in January 2015.

Over the last few weeks, as concerns about the virus escalated, he had been working extra shifts to help cover the wards at Llandough Hospital near Penarth.

But he became ill himself with Covid-19, and gradually his condition deteriorated.

At the weekend, his family were called to his bedside at Prince Charles Hospital, and Ms Leonard said his wife was with him when he passed away.

“For Gareth, he paid the ultimate price,” said Ms Leonard.


“We’re angry. Why would you send a soldier on to the front line without combat gear? It’s unthinkable.”

Mr Roberts loved his job but he was also a husband to Linda, a father to Ceri and Dean and a grandfather to 16-year-old Zac, who he and Linda had brought up after their son Dean passed away 11 years ago.

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Ms Leonard said his sense of humour was so dry, and “you couldn’t not love him”.

“He’d come out with things and you’d be weak,” she said.

“Cariad [Welsh for love] was his favourite word. The nursing sister in the ward was saying to me she’ll miss him saying ‘come on cariad, we can do this together’.

“That’s how he was – a proper genuine, lovely guy.”

Anger Over Lack Of PPE For Nurse Gareth Roberts


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