Teacher dies with Covid hours after 999 call on Christmas Day


he family of a south London teacher who died with Covid-19 on Christmas Day today described her as “one in a million”.

Jan Docker, 55, was a special educational needs co-ordinator at Stillness Junior School in Lewisham.

She developed Covid symptoms on December 12 and received a positive test on December 19. Despite thinking she was on the mend she developed severe breathing problems and called an ambulance at midday on Christmas Day.

She was admitted to Croydon University Hospital where she died six hours later, her family told the Standard.  

Her niece Rachel O’Connell, 41, said Ms Docker had no significant underlying health issues and had been fit and working before she contracted Covid. Ms O’Connell said: “We are utterly devastated. She was one in a million. She was so caring and special to all who knew her. She loved her job and was an excellent special educational needs teacher who helped so many children.  

“She had not been ill and had been working. She developed a cough and felt very tired. At first she didn’t have breathing problems and thought she was on the mend but then she had to call an ambulance.” Ms O’Connell said that her aunt had plans to celebrate with friends but had to abandon them as she was self-isolating at her south London flat. This meant she was alone when her condition deteriorated.  

A leading kidney specialist working for the Royal College of Physicians in London, died with Covid-19 on Sunday. Renal medicine specialist Professor Donal O’Donoghue, 64, fell ill in mid-December and was admitted to the critical care unit at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport. 

He had three children and four grandchildren. RCP President Professor Andrew Goddard said: “He was my friend, my wingman and my confidant. I will miss him terribly.”


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