An inspirational teacher was among the latest Londoners to die with Covid-19.
Melvin Gwanzura, 43, the head of social sciences at St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College in Kensington, lost his fight for life in West Middlesex Hospital.
He and partner Zion Walsh, 41, were looking forward to celebrating their 15th anniversary. Mr Walsh said: “He was the healthiest, fittest person you could meet. He played a lot of sports, was devoted to volleyball practice, didn’t drink or smoke. This has all been the biggest shock.
“He was the most joyful, wonderful person. As a teacher he inspired his students, he was devoted to his job. Everyone who knew him is devastated.”
Mr Gwanzura moved to London from Zimbabwe in 2001 and won trophies playing in volleyball tournaments around the UK. He began self-isolating with symptoms of the virus at the start of March.
His condition worsened and on April 6 he was admitted to hospital where he tested positive. Two days later, he went into cardiac arrest in intensive care and suffered irreparable brain damage.
“Doctors made him comfortable but there was nothing they could do,” said Mr Walsh. “It was hard not being able to see him but I think I wanted to remember him and the fit and healthy man he was.”
Almost £13,000 has been raised in an online fundraiser to help pay for Mr Gwanzura’s funeral.
Among those to donate were his students, with one writing: “Your enthusiasm and your craving to live the very best life, made me believe that I could do the same too. You had such a positive and amazing impact on so many.”
St Charles Catholic College said he was “an educator in every sense of the word”, adding: “To say that Melvin will be missed is an understatement.”
To donate go to tinyurl.com/gwanzura