Victorian nurse Gillian ‘Jill’ Dempsey dies of COVID after contracting virus at work

Victoria has lost his first hospital nurse to COVID-19.

7NEWS understands front-line nurse Gillian “Jill” Dempsey, who has contracted the virus at work.

The emergency nurse died Sunday in an intensive care unit at Box Hill Hospital.

Eastern Health said Ms Dempsey was in her 60s, fully vaccinated and otherwise healthy.

She had been working in the emergency room at Angliss Hospital for the past 14 years.

The wife and mother of three is remembered as an incredibly caring night shift nurse.

On Monday, Eastern Health released a statement describing her as “incredibly hard-working and loved.”

“Her colleagues talk a lot about the care, warmth and compassion that Jill showed every day,” the statement read.

“Her loss will resonate around the close team at Angliss Hospital, and our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues at this time.”

Frontline nurse Gillian
Frontline nurse Gillian “Jill” Dempsey has died of COVID-19 in Victoria. Credit: 7NEWS

The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation said Mrs Dempsey’s death was a tragic reminder of how vulnerable Australia’s healthcare staff are.

“It is with the heaviest heart that we acknowledge the death of emergency room nurse Jill Dempsey at Angliss Hospital after contracting COVID-19,” the nursing association said in a statement released Tuesday.

“There are difficult days ahead. Please take care of each other.

“We have been very lucky despite the fact that a large number of nurses have been tested positive.

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There are difficult days ahead. Please take care of each other

“This is something we feared and a sober reminder that nurses, midwives and all health professionals are on the front lines of the pandemic.

“We acknowledge their bravery and courage.

“This is a reminder of how vulnerable they are.”

The Nursing Association urged Victorians to take COVID-19 seriously and be vaccinated.

“Nurses and midwives do not want to be heroes, they want to go home to their families and loved ones at the end of a shift,” they said.

“Please know, nurses, midwives and personal care staff do everything they can to take care of you.

“Please take all precautions you can to take care of them.”

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