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

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

7NEWS understands frontline nurse Gillian “Jill” Dempsey contracted the virus at work.

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

Eastern Health said Mrs Dempsey was aged in her 60s, fully vaccinated, and otherwise well.


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

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

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

“Her colleagues speak highly of the care, warmth, and compassion that Jill demonstrated every day,” the statement read.


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

Frontline nurse Gillian “Jill” Dempsey has died from 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 workers are.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts we acknowledge the death of Angliss Hospital emergency department nurse Jill Dempsey after contracting COVID-19,” the nursing union said in a statement released on Tuesday.

“There are difficult days ahead. Please look after each other.


“We have been very fortunate despite a large number of nurses testing positive.

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There are difficult days ahead. Please look after each other

“This is something we feared and a sobering reminder that nurses, midwives, and all healthcare workers are on the pandemic frontline.

“We acknowledge their bravery and courage.

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

The nursing union urged Victorians to take COVID-19 seriously and get vaccinated.

“Nurses and midwives don’t 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 workers are doing everything they can to care for you.

“Please take every measure you can to take care of them.”

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