Family of well-known businessman who battled COVID-19 but later died pay tribute to NHS staff

A well-known Stockton business-man who survived a long battle in intensive care with COVID-19 has recently died – leading to his family making a tribute to NHS staff.

Taxi driver tributeMohammed Farooq – known to friends as Fazza – spent time in a coma in the critical care unit at the University Hospital of North Tees after contracting the virus in 2020.

He was treated in the unit at the same time as his son Amar Shazad, 33, – both of them recovering after long periods of sickness.

Sadly for Mohammed, he continued to suffer with illness and his health deteriorated.

After being discharged from hospital in May 2020, he was still unwell – having a cardiac arrest in the August and spending further time in hospital.

In October of that year, he was well enough to leave hospital – moving to the Bridge Care Centre in Middlesbrough. Sadly, he never returned home and passed away in December last year at the age of just 53.

His family – who run and own Tees Valley Cabs and are well known in the area – have paid tribute to him.

One of his daughters, Ambreen, 29, said: “I want to thank all of the NHS staff who helped my father – thanks to them and their outstanding care, we got an extra 16 months with our father.

“Fazza was a much loved dad, husband, grandfather and friend to so many people.

“Sadly he never recovered from the virus – we would like to thank everyone for their condolences.”

Aneesa Farooq, 26, another daughter, said: “This has had a devastating effect on our family. We have lost our father and we will never get him back.

“We know what a loss this has been for us – we don’t want another family to go through what we have.

“The mental health impact, the stress, the anxiety, I would not wish this on anyone.

“We want to remind people, this is a real virus, this is making people very ill. Please continue to play your part – self isolating when you need to, wearing a mask when appropriate, washing hands, keeping your distance and taking the precautions needed.

“And of course, getting the vaccine and making sure you are protected.”

Mohammed Farooq and his son Amar Shazad with their familyThe family from Stockton include wife Sughra, 53, and children Ambreen, Aneesa , and Haaris, 21.

Mohammed and son Amar both spent time in critical care in April 2020.

Mohamed was the first member of the family to pick up the virus after he started feeling unwell and was struggling to breathe.

Then, just a few days later, Amar also started to feel sick and was also admitted to intensive care.

A few weeks later, Mohammed was taken off ventilation after a total of 34 days.

Then Amar was always discharged from the unit after 56 days in critical care – and is making a recovery in the respiratory unit.

Aneesa added: “Amar has made a fantastic recovery, we are so so thankful for that.

“We just all want my father’s death not to be for nothing. If it can remind people to continue to stay safe, that is what we want.”

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