An incredibly talented surgeon died of Covid in his brother’s arms.

After a nine-week struggle with the virus, Dr Irfan Halim (45) died at Royal Brompton Hospital, West London, on November 14. This was two months after Kamal, his father, who also became a physician, had passed away in a London hospital named Covid.

The younger sibling, Dr Amir Halim (also a physician), paid today tribute to the brother who switched to covid treatment for over a year, before falling ill. Colleagues described him as being like ‘ten men in one body’, who had treated 250,000 patients throughout his career.

“We’ve struggled. To say it’s been one of the most difficult two months in my life would be an understatement. Each day the number of cases is increasing. This virus doesn’t care if you are gifted, rich or poor. It will affect our lives forever unless we do the right things, like getting boosters and stopping unnecessary contact. Amir explained that it eventually will have a devastating effect on someone you care about.

He continued, “He will forever be my big brother. He was a loving and loyal son.” He was a father, son, and uncle. His achievements, caring for his four children and wife, as well as multiple degrees, are staggering. A lot of lives were touched by him. He will be remembered by his daughters and sons.

It is thought that Irfan contracted the virus in London before succumbing to it during his shift on September 10. Irfan was treated initially at Swindon but was later transferred to London’s Royal Brompton. He died there a week earlier.

Amir, Amir’s brother, stated that the entire family (including his wife and their four children) are trying to handle his death.  

His response was: “This virus just is a terrible thing. Irfan was diagnosed with Covid around a week after Dad. Irfan was healthy when Dad was admitted. However, Irfan collapsed in the workplace a week later. Dad did not know Irfan had been ill. But, Irfan’s primary concern was dad even while Irfan was being treated in ICU. 

Irfan had never been diagnosed with any health issues and received the second vaccine in January. However, he was diagnosed with the disease six days after Britain approved its booster program.

Dr Halim (pictured), 45, who had been working in Swindon, Wiltshire, passed away at a London hospital last weekend after a nine-week battle with the virus

The devoted husband and father (pictured) spent his last moments in the arms of his wife, who said she was 'whispering prayers and love into his ears'

After a nine-week struggle with the virus, Dr Irfan Halim, 45, died at London’s St. Mary’s Hospital last Saturday.

His bereft younger sibling Dr Amir Halim, who is also a medic, today paid tribute to his brother who swapped from surgery to treating covid patients for a year until he fell ill with the virus

The younger sibling, Dr Amir Halim (also a physician), paid respect to the brother. For a year, he switched to covid treatment and surgery, until falling ill with the flu.

He went to work on September 10 but never returned after catching coronavirus and becoming increasingly ill. He is pictured with his children

After contracting coronavirus, he was unable to return to work and became increasingly sicker. He left for home on September 10, but he never went back. Pictured with his kids

Dr Halim (pictured with his wife Saila), who was a father of four children under the age of 12, was a skilled surgeon at Swindon Hospital

Photographed together with Saila Halim, Dr Halim was a skilled surgeon at Swindon Hospital.

He was an NHS worker on the frontline who had been vaccinated 9 months prior to September 16th.

Amir said that he remembered Irfan as a happy and energetic person until his passing a week ago.

“We were hopeful that he would be able to recover given his old age. His mid-40s years saw him as a healthy, fit young man. We are more shocked than dad at Irfan’s death. 

After spending a week in intensive care, ‘Irfan was so ill that they were forced to place him on a ventilator. He made that decision consciously, and they both agreed to it.

“He was then transferred to Great Western for ECMO treatment. A few days later, he was ventilated.

“Until we received the news of his impending death, we had always believed he would make it through. “He suddenly became worse a week earlier and I, as a physician myself knew that nothing could be done.”

After treating over 250,000 patients during his career, the surgeon was considered a medical powerhouse. 

He was isolated from his family for four months at the height of the pandemic last spring while treating Covid patients on the front lines.  

Two months ago, Dr Halim died. He had been working on the Covid ICU Wards at Great Western Hospital in Swindon. There, he fell on his shift, and was believed to have contracted the disease.

The vaccines provide very high levels of protection against severe illness and death. However, the effectiveness decreases after six months. Dr Halim was nine months old when his first dose of vaccines had expired. His age and overall health would have meant that he is at lower risk for dying from Covid.  

Saila Halim, Saila’s wife spoke exclusively to MailOnline last week. She said that her husband was a freelancer living in London. Although he wasn’t vaccinated with any vaccines, he had been double-vaccinated. He also wore PPE while on the wards.

After shedding a few tears, she said: “He never mentioned getting the booster. And I don’t believe that he did.

“It causes you to question the effectiveness of the vaccine, but it is now not the right time for me think about those things. I am so devastated.

“It’s a double disaster for the family, and we’re in too much pain not to contemplate any other options.”

Two months ago, Dr Halim died. He had been working on the Covid ICU Wards at Great Western Hospital in Swindon. There, he fell on his shift, and was believed to have contracted HIV.

The vaccines provide very high levels of protection against severe illness and death. However, the effectiveness decreases after six months. Dr Halim was nine months old when his first dose of vaccines had expired. His age and overall health would have meant that he is at lower risk for dying from Covid.  

Dr Irfan Halim, 45, who earned widespread praise for his work, passed away at Royal Brompton Hospital in London on November 14, surrounded by his heartbroken family (pictured, their last photo together) following a nine-week battle against the virus

After a nine-week fight against the virus, Dr Irfan Halim (45), who was widely praised for his efforts, died at Royal Brompton Hospital, London, on November 14. Surrounded by his grieving family (pictured, their final photo together),

The risk of getting Covid vaccine in your 40s without booster is very low.

The risk of Covid killing someone in their forties who is double-vaccinated remains small – even without a booster vaccine.

Although the effectiveness of vaccines has been proven to decrease over time (between four and six month), they offer high levels of protection against severe illness or death. 

UK real-world data has shown that those who received two Pfizer vaccines have around 85 percent protection against dying from the dominant Delta strain six months after they were administered, as opposed to the nearly perfect protection at the beginning of the year.

Two shots of AstraZeneca provide slightly less protection for half-years, and the effectiveness drops to approximately 80 percent.

Real-world UK data shows that people who were given two Pfizer vaccine doses still have about 85 per cent protection against death from the dominant Delta variant six months later - compared to the near-perfect protection earlier in the year. Those who received two shots of AstraZeneca have very slightly less protection at the half-year mark, with the effectiveness falling to about 80 per cent

UK real-world data has shown that those who received two doses of Pfizer vaccine still had about 85% protection against the deadly Delta variant 6 months after they were administered, compared with the almost perfect protection at the beginning of the year. The effectiveness of AstraZeneca has fallen to around 80 percent for those who have received only two doses. This makes the protection slightly lower at half-year.

At six months, Government data shows the Pfizer vaccine offers about 90 per cent protection against hospitalisation. For AstraZeneca's, the figure is just under 80 per cent

Data from Government shows that Pfizer’s vaccine protects against hospitalisation at about 90 percent after six months. AstraZeneca’s vaccine provides just under 80 percent protection against hospitalisation.

The Government has data that shows Pfizer’s vaccine provides about 90% protection against hospitalization after six months. AstraZeneca’s vaccine protects just under 88%. 

The effectiveness of vaccines to prevent infection after six months is much lower than that offered by Pfizer, which offers 60% protection. 

Early data from UK’s booster program has revealed that the third dose of vaccine can increase immunity to 93% again.

Officials say that although it is too early to give an estimate of the effectiveness against death and hospitalisation, they anticipate it being’much greater’. 

The chances of suffering from Covid in the forties are now one in 4,000 to one in 500, according to different figures.

Other studies suggest that vaccinated individuals are at lower risk than those who have not been vaccinated.

For comparison, someone in their 70s has one in thirty chances of succumbing to Covid. For those 65-75, it is 1 in 120.   

The death occurred two months after his return to work at Great Western Hospital Swindon’s Covid intensive care unit.

In December 2020, Dr Halim was among the first to be vaccinated against Covid. His second dose was received in accordance to the guidelines of the original three-week schedule.

In the UK, there has been an increase in the interval between second and first vaccine doses. Studies have shown that a longer time frame increases immunity strength and longevity. 

44-year-old Mrs Halim recalled the last days of her husband, in which he lay beside her with their four children, Zara (13, Adam (12, Zain 11) and Alisa (5). His brother, sister, and mother were with Dr Halim.

He was so heartbroken that his widow cried, saying: “I held him and whispered prayers of love. Our hero has died. He was a remarkable husband, father, son and friend. The whole family was their best friend.

“We all feel empty, and I don’t know how to cope.” He was my whole life, my world and everything. We could never have expected this.

She remembered how his children decorated the hospital and talked to him daily, whether he was in London or Swindon.

She stated, “I was certain that our love would pull us through.” Even when he wasn’t in the hospital, he continued to be his loving, happy self. 

“He played chess with us via video and dealt with all our work issues.”

Even though the Covid Frontline was dangerous, Mrs Halim insists that she did not try to stop her husband.

She stated that he was a gifted, dedicated and skilled doctor right to the end. His patients were always his first priority and he continued to support them even after they had finished treatment.

“Sometimes, I got very frustrated because it felt almost as though he were in the hospital working on medial issues.

He was kind, compassionate, and made a significant difference in the lives of people. 

“I didn’t try to stop him working with Covid patients, because that was his whole life: caring for others.

According to her, she first met Dr Halim at an ice skating rink in 2003. He was also her instructor.

She stated, “I met my friend, and that’s the man I got to marry.” We spent 18 wonderful years together and will always be part of my heart. 

“The world lost an extraordinarily caring human being.”

They were married in 2006. The couple had four children together, and Mrs Halim taught them how to homeschool with the help of her husband.

Hash Syed was Dr Irfan Halim’s business partner and he posted an emotion-filled Facebook message this week to pay tribute to the ‘dearest friend’. He described him as a man of many talents.

He continued, “Most importantly I’m a loving dad and husband. Also, great friend.”

With distinctions and awards, Dr Halim was awarded a doctorate from Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals Medical school in 2000. 

His training included general surgery and sub-specialization in laparoscopic gastroscopy. 

His wife Saila Halim (pictured with her husband) said when he died she was 'whispering prayers and love into his ears'

His wife Saila Halim (pictured with her husband) said when he died she was ‘whispering prayers and love into his ears’ 

Dr Halim had spent the past two years saving Covid patients and on September 10 was on a ward round when he collapsed having allegedly caught Covid at work. His children are pictured

The past two years Dr Halim spent saving Covid patients. On September 10, he was at ward rounds when he fell, having apparently caught Covid at Work. These are his children

In a heart-breaking post on social media, Mrs Halim said: 'Irfan you gave me fifteen magical years as your wife, four beautiful children, wonderful memories that will last me until my remaining days in this world.' Pictured: His hospital room

On social media Mrs Halim posted a sad and heartbreaking message: “Irfan, you gave me fifteen wonderful years as my wife, four children, beautiful memories, and unforgettable moments that will endure me through the rest of my days here in this world.” Pictured is his hospital room

A ‘medical powerhouse’ who was like ’10 men in one body’: Who was hero NHS surgeon Dr Halim Irfan

Dr Halim qualified from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals Medical School in 2000 with prizes and distinctions.

He trained in general surgery with sub specialisation in laparoscopic gastrointestinal surgery on the North Thames Higher Surgical Rotation.

He completed specialist training at UCL Hospitals in GI Surgery, and further training at Royal Marsden Hospital in cancer surgery. He was awarded numerous prizes and became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons England in 2014.

Additionally, he is a qualified lawyer and holds a master’s degree in surgery technology from Imperial College London. He also has an MBA from the United States. From 2016 to 2016, he was a NHS consultant surgeon in West Hertfordshire NHS Hospitals Trust, and North East London NHS Treatment Centre.

Dr Halim moved into full-time private practice and worked on day case procedures including gallbladder, hernia surgeries and cosmetic skin procedures.

To help fight the epidemic and save people’s lives, he was transferred to Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

After completing his specialist training for GI surgery at UCL Hospitals he was also trained in cancer surgery at Royal Marsden Hospital.

Numerous awards were won and he was elected fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons England in 2014. He graduated in law, and he also holds an MBA in the USA.

Before 2016, he worked as a consultant surgeon for the NHS at West Hertfordshire NHS Hospitals Trust. He also served as an NHS treatment centre manager at North East London NHS Treatment Centre.

But Dr Halim moved into full-time private practice on the prestigious Harley Street and worked on day case procedures including gallbladder, hernia surgeries and cosmetic skin procedures.

He had one of the highest volume practices in Britain, with about 300 new patients arriving monthly and him operating on more than 1,200 people.

Mrs Halim said earlier online: ‘Irfan you gave me fifteen magical years as your wife, four beautiful children, wonderful memories that will last me until my remaining days in this world.

“You gave 25 years dedicated service to NHS working as Consultant General Surgeon. Irfan was not only my best friend, but also a friend of all our children.

An ex-colleague added, “Being a fighter he never gave in.” He believed he could recover. He was not a smoker or drank and was an individual who always helped other people.

An official GoFundMe page was created in memory of Dr Halim. It includes Mrs Halim sharing that all the funds will be used for charity work that Dr Halim participated in.

She stated that this money was not meant for her family as Irfan had taken care of all our finances. His generosity was evident to many charities, so we are proud of his contribution and will continue his work by making sure that they receive funds in his honor.

According to GoFundMe, “This fund was established for Dr Irfan HALIM’s family. He is an incredible and talented NHS doctor who has worked tirelessly to assist others.” 

Tragic tribute from Dr Irfan Halim’s business associate to his ‘dearest friend and man of many talents’

Tragic: Dr Irfan Halim (left) with business partner and friend Hash Syed

Tragic: Dr Irfan Halim (left), and Hash Syed, her business partner.

This week Dr Irfan Halim, Hash Syed’s business partner said in an emotionally charged Facebook post:

“Sometimes, we come across people who have profound effects on us because of their magic. I am writing to Dr. Irfan HALIM today.

‘Late last summer, Irfan (my partner) and I met through the Y Combinator founders network. We shared a passion to make the millions of people around the globe happier by promoting healthier gut Entero Health.

“We connected around 22.00 on LinkedIn, and videochatted until 2.00 the next morning.

“We created our concept to treat functional gut diseases and pitched it to Antler VC, a startup accelerator. They were delighted to accept it.

‘Within the space of 6 weeks, we’d identified the problem, refined the narrative, go-to-market plan ready and were days inches away from pitching for funding.

Most importantly, though, it was exciting to be on an adventure together and solve a big problem.

Dr. Irfan was a General Surgeon who had been a Consultant for 20 years and treated more than 250,000 patients. On Friday, September 10, Dr. Irfan fell while performing surgery. It was discovered that he had COVID.

“He had to be admitted to the hospital, and had to have ECMO. He was a fighter and never lost heart. He believed he would be able to recover.

He continued fighting with his family of four, friends and relatives, who prayed for him all the way.

“Unfortunately my dearest friend, who lived his entire life serving others, unfortunately passed away on Sunday, November 14.

I will always cherish the time spent building Entero at Antler’s hub in Liverpool Street. It could be your bike, our favourite burger place or you on your scooter.

“You represented the ideal of service, believing in more.

“A man who has many talents. He is a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer. And most importantly, I am a great father and husband.

‘Our energy, our dream, our goal to help people lead healthier lives won’t go to waste. 

“Thanks, my friend Dr Irfan Halim.

He was loved deeply and had a profound impact on the lives of so many. He was far too young to be with those who loved him.

“He wasn’t only a loving husband but also a dedicated father to his four children. He was an incredible human being who gave so much to those that had the privilege of meeting him.

“He was away for four months from his loved ones during the peak of the pandemic and worked in the covid units. Irfan, the NHS and many others tried to return him to his loving family but he died tragically after fighting Covid for nine weeks.

“We created this fund to help ease the loss of Irfan as friends and relatives. Irfan was the only breadwinner in his family. Irfan’s memory will be remembered with gratitude by all those who loved and knew him.

As Britain prepares for another winter of coronavirus-related illness, his death is also a shock. Death and cases data are becoming more difficult to forecast.

Following the return to half-term at month’s beginning, infections have increased in week-on-week for seven of the eight preceding days.

There were also 199 coronavirus deaths registered yesterday, marking a two per cent increase on last week’s toll. According to the latest hospital data, there were 799 admissions for November 14, which is a decrease of 9 percentage points in one week.

Before easing restrictions, the Government does not have a limit on how many daily hospital admissions they will tolerate.

Neil Ferguson, one of the top scientists in its organization and a leading adviser to Professor Lockdown suggested that this figure might be as high as 1,200.

Britain’s biggest symptom-tracking research found that people who contract the virus each week have fallen by 10%.

The study’s principal scientist, Professor Tim Spector of King’s College London, stated that he is ‘cautiously optimist’ There will be no restrictions.

When Boris Johnson acknowledged that the drastic action wasn’t off the table, fears were raised about Christmas curbs.

As a warning sign, the PM pointed out that Europe has been infected and nations have been returned to lockdown.

Professor Spector stated that he was cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year, and what Christmas means. Infection waves are becoming more prevalent in schools and children.

“It’s reasonable to expect another increase in the New Year after the Holidays,” said ‘I think it’s safe to state that we can anticipate to see another rise.” However, he urged all Britons to remain fully immunized against the disease and get their booster shots.

In his speech, he encouraged people to wear face masks even in cramped areas such as the subway. He was now more relaxed than three weeks ago, when he warned ministers that Plan B should be considered.

Professor Spector uses daily reports of over 750,000 Britons to determine if people feel unwell or if they test positive.

This method relies on participants self-reporting symptoms and does not require them to submit evidence. In the two-week period from November 13 to 13, 40,000 virus tests were performed.

Prime Minister Johnson indicated earlier in the week that it was still impossible to exclude some Covid restrictions from being reimposed.

He said: ‘Clearly we cannot rule anything out and the most important thing people can do to prevent further NPIs from being taken is to — non-pharmaceutical interventions that is, further restrictions — get the boosters.’

However, he said there wasn’t any data that suggested further restrictions. Researchers fear additional Covid restrictions may need to be taken if there is a new virus that’s more transmittable and can better resist vaccine-triggered immunity.

The Kent ‘Alpha” variant caused a surge in Covid cases last winter, which led to chaos on Christmas Day plans.

To contribute to Dr Halim’s Go Fund Me, click here.