Richzeal Albufera was a well-respected biomedical scientist at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, East Yorkshire, and “on the forefront” of virological testing during the pandemic. Both he and his wife who is a nurse worked at the hospital since moving to the UK from the Philippines in 2005.
His colleague, radiographer Nikkie Gromet is reported to have said: “Rich has truly touched and continues to touch the lives of many, through his inspiring and grafting, hard work ethic.
“His work as a scientist brought him to laboratories in the Philippines, Japan, Saudi Arabia and finally the UK; in which he was on the forefront of virological testing amidst the pandemic.
“He always talked about how much he loves the work he carried out in the NHS, as it first and foremost directly helped people."
Colleagues added: “He is the epitome of what the NHS is all about, as no matter the ethnic background, skin colour, gender, etc. the staff work there to improve and save the lives of the majority of this country, and this is what Rich embodied. The UK should be proud."
“He will also be remembered for his fun approach to life and the jokey nature he had, which always put a smile on people’s faces… He will very much be missed.”
Richzeal Albufera died on Tuesday 9 June 2020 at the hospital where he worked after three weeks in intensive care with "severe complications" associated with COVID-19.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds to send his remains has raised more than £6,800 towards sending the 45-year-old’s body back to his family in the Philippines.
You can donate by clicking here.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues.
We will remember Richzeal Albufera.