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Daughter’s garden gig for ‘NHS hero’ who died after contracting coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 19:00 25 April 2020 | UPDATED: 19:21 25 April 2020

Abba tribute duo Shazam will perform a livestreamed gig in tribute to Dr Fayez Ayache, inset Pictures: Harriet Snook/ Shazam/ Sarah Lucy Brown

Abba tribute duo Shazam will perform a livestreamed gig in tribute to Dr Fayez Ayache, inset Pictures: Harriet Snook/ Shazam/ Sarah Lucy Brown

Harriet Snook/ Shazam/ Sarah Lucy Brown

A daughter is helping to organise a special fundraising event in memory of her much-loved dad, who she describes as “an NHS hero”.

Tributes have been paid to Dr Fayez Ayache, who died after contracting coronavirus. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTributes have been paid to Dr Fayez Ayache, who died after contracting coronavirus. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk GP Dr Fayez Ayache, who lived in Raydon, worked for the NHS for more than 40 years. He sadly died on on Wednesday, April 8, aged 76, after testing positive for coronavirus.

His daughter, Layla, is now joining forces with her friend, Harriet Snook, to hold an Abba musical fundraiser for the Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, with funds going to the intensive care unit at Ipswich Hospital, because of the care they provided for Dr Ayache.

Harriet, a close friend of the family for more than 30 years, is a member of Abba duo Shazam. They will perform from a garden in Martlesham, in Mill Heath Road, at 2pm on Saturday, May 2. They will livestream the gig on Facebook for people, especially those in Capel and East Bergholt, where Dr Ayache worked for many years.

Layla said: “I want to give something back to the ICU ward at Ipswich Hospital, as they are all giving so much for us every day and putting their lives on the line for us.

“During my dad’s care, the staff there were kind, courageous and they treated him with dignity and respect. As a family we want to show our thanks to them.

“The staff who cared for Dad were kind, they were courageous, they were dedicated and they were compassionate. they were a team, and they were facing each day with such gallantry and strength.”

She added: “We have already raised nearly £2,500 which is incredible, and it will make such a big difference to the people/staff at Ipswich Hospital.”

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Originally, the fundraisers set themselves a target of £100 on their Just Giving page, but £250 was raised in just two hours, so they put it up to £750. Now they have decided not to set another target, but to raise as much as possible.

Layla said: “The money raised will be for a number of things. It will get magnifying glasses for people who need glasses but can’t wear them because of the PPE, to get pictures printed of the doctors and nurses to wear on their gowns so patients know who is treating them, and make it more personable, as currently they are writing their names on their gowns.

“I would also like to buy some prayer mats for the prayer room, which I know would have been really important to my dad and exactly what he would have wanted.”

Dr Ayache came from Syria in 1973 and began his career as a GP with the Constable Country Medical Practice in East Bergholt, where he later became a senior partner.

He also worked at Ipswich Hospital running an Ear, Nose and Throat clinic. In 2017 he retired, but he had come out of retirement to work part-time at the North Clacton Medical Group.

He only stopped working during the pandemic due to being over the age of 70 and being instructed to stay at home.

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Layla said: “Dad passed away in Ipswich Hospital, the same hospital he had served in as a doctor for 36 years. This hospital held a special place in my dad’s heart, and now ours also. It seems only right to give back where we can. My name is Layla and I am proud to be the child of an NHS hero.”

She said: “He was both a GP and an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, but above all, he was a father and I am proud to have been able to call him mine.”

Layla added: “We will be promoting social distancing at all times and we will be broadcasting live on a public feed through Facebook using the hashtag #drayache. Search for this hashtag at 2pm and come and join us for a singalong in memory of Dad, and in aid of the Intensive Care Unit at Ipswich Hospital.”

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