Twin sisters, Katy Davis and Emma, 37 have died within three days of each other after testing positive for coronavirus.
While Children’s nurse Katy died at Southampton General Hospital, identical twin Emma, herself a former nurse, died at the same hospital early on Friday.
Their sister, Zoe, said: “They always said they had come into the world together and would go out together as well.”
She said the “amazing” pair, who lived together, had other health conditions and had been unwell for some time.
“There are no words to describe how special they were,” she said.”All they ever wanted to do was to help other people. Ever since they were young…they’d pretend they were doctors and nurses caring for their dolls.
“They gave their everything to all the patients they looked after. They were exceptional.”
“It doesn’t feel like any of this is real.”
Paula Head, chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Katy has been described by her colleagues… as a nurse people would aspire to be like and that nursing was more than just a job to her.
The Royal College of Nursing said: “She’s been described as a dedicated and selfless nurse who had time for everyone sharing her skills and knowledge to ensure excellent patient care.”Emma Davis had worked at the same hospital as her sister in the colorectal surgery unit for nine years until 2013.
In a message to staff, chief nursing officer Gail Byrne said: “She had the same underlying health condition as Katy and had been unwell prior to her admission when she tested positive for Covid-19.
“It goes without saying just how devastating and tragic this is for the family and all who knew them.
“Emma has been described as an excellent nurse who was calm and cheerful and a good leader.
“She was well-liked by all and was a valuable member of the team during her time with us.”
Hospital staff held a “Clap for Katy” outside the main entrance on Thursday evening, hours before Emma’s death.
A total of 50 British nursing staff have died during the pandemic, according to a list compiled by the Nursing Times.