An inquest found that the junior doctor was talented and dedicated, having fought for the survival of Covid patients. She drowned in the water after she had been out with her friends.

Thirushika Sthialingam (26), who was a Covid respiratory ward worker at the peak of the second wave. Coastguards found her in Margate Harbour (Kent) at 5.45 am on September 11, this year. 

When she didn’t return to her family, her friends raised alarm. 

The search involved lifeboat crews and firefighters, as well as police officers, firefighters, and an emergency rescue helicopter.

Thiru was a friend’s health worker who was last seen in Margate Harbour. An inquest was held at County Hall, Maidstone in Kent on Tuesday. 

Joanne Andrews, assistant coroner, stated that her death was caused by submersion in the water. Alcohol intoxication is also a contributing factor.

The body of Thirushika Sathialingam, 26, (pictured) who worked on a Covid respiratory ward at the height of the second wave, was found in Margate Harbour, Kent, by coastguards at 5.45am on September 11 this year

Thirushika Sathialingam (26) was found dead at Margate Harbour in Kent by Coastguards. He had been working as a Covid Respiratory ward nurse during the second wave.

Thiru's boyfriend Peter Speilbichler (pictured together), said he 'loved everything about her' and that she was 'always kind and smiling'

Peter Speilbichler was Thiru’s boyfriend. They are pictured together. He said that he “loved every aspect of her” and that she was “always kind, smiling and generous”. 

Prior to her passing, Ms. Sathialingam worked in a senior role on the Queen Mother Hospital’s Respiratory Ward (QEQM), during the UK’s second coronavirus epidemic.

Before the pandemic she had worked at the hospital and hoped to become a consultant anaesthetist like her father.

Her father said at the time that he had retired in July from the hospital. He stated: “Every parent believes their child is special, but she really was. And it is now that I realize how many good tips she gave me, and how wise they were.

“She enjoyed listening to others and taking good care of her patients.

‘During the second wave, Covid, she was on a respirator ward with people who had contracted the virus. She would sit down and speak to these patients and then hold their hands and give comfort.

“She didn’t hesitate to check things with consultants when she felt they were wrong and was passionate about what she did. 

Ms. Sathialingam grew up in Ilford and moved to Kent with her family when she was 11.

After attending Sir Roger Manwood’s School in London, she went on to study medicine at Riga Stradins University (Latvia) where she met Peter Speilbichler.

Following graduation, they spent some time together before she and Kaushaliyan moved back to Kent. She is now a QEQM junior doctor.

He stated that he didn’t believe many siblings had been as close to him as us. They did nearly everything together.

“She was an amazing doctor. She didn’t realize how great she was. 

“She loved the complexity of medicine and was capable of thinking outside the box.

Thiru was last seen alive in the water at Margate Harbour (pictured), an inquest at County Hall in Maidstone, Kent, was told on Tuesday

Thiru (pictured) was the last person to be seen in Margate Harbour’s water. An inquest was held at County Hall, Maidstone in Kent on Tuesday.

“She enjoyed anaesthesia because it was scientifically based. 

She wanted to perform procedures that could make a difference.

Ms. Sathialingam also had a talent for dancing, and performed classical Indian dances at charity events as well as teaching others.

She was a keen traveler and used to meticulously plan her trips to Sri Lanka (where she was born) or to Germany to visit her boyfriend.

Mr Speilbichler, her boyfriend said that he had received calls from his parents, who have only seen her once or twice. They were impressed by how bright she was and the warmth she brought to everyone’s lives.

“If someone was not a part of the group she would ensure she talked to them, and they felt included.

“She was a good friend to everyone, and always smiled and listened. She never said anything malicious, even when she was angry.

“The time that we shared was extraordinary and she is the reason I love everything.”

Thiru's brother Kaushaliyan, also a junior doctor, said: 'She was a fantastic doctor. I don't think she realised how good she was, but it came naturally to her.' (Pictured: Thiru with her boyfriend Peter)

Thiru’s junior-doctoral brother Kaushaliyan also said, “She was a wonderful doctor.” Although she didn’t know how talented she was at first, it seemed like she did. Pictured with Peter: Thiru and her boyfriend Peter.

Susan Acott (CEO East Kent Hospitals) described the talent of Dr. Acott’s passing as a huge loss to the Trust.

“Thiru was truly a shining star, who quickly established herself with her compassion and passion for patients.

“It’s clear that she would have had bright future and I have no doubt that she could achieve whatever it was she wanted.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to her family as well as her many friends and coworkers.

Director of Medical Education, Dr Prathibha Bambipalyam said that Thiru was an outstanding doctor who provided support for her colleagues and especially the junior doctors, since August.

“Her talents were evident and she was committed to her work as well as to those she loved.

Inquest adjourned to February 2, where a full hearing will occur