TODAY we remember the 226 people who have died across the borough after contracting coronavirus.

An online book of remembrance to honour each resident of Greater Manchester who tragically lost their life after contracting Covid-19 has seen over a dozen tributes since it was launched earlier this week.

This morning, a service will be held at Manchester Cathedral from 11am, with a live stream of the service played on the Cathedral’s Facebook page.

Margaret Rotheram, a 79-year-old great-grandmother, is one of the people who tragically died after contracting the virus.

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The beloved Scotswoman was admitted to Royal Bolton Hospital after a major stroke.

She spent several weeks on the ward, and had just begun to sit up, eat, and even take a few steps when she was diagnosed with Covid-19.

Son Craig said: “She was on the road to recovery but within days she took a turn for the worst. It was very, very quick.

“The hardest part was the fact that we couldn’t see her for five weeks, and then she ended up in a side ward and one of us was able to go in and sit with her for her last few hours.

“My sister stayed with her for around 48 hours, and her final few hours were very traumatic.

“If anyone’s of any kind of illusion that this isn’t a horrible virus then they’re wrong, the final four hours were very painful and traumatic for my sister to be there for.

“She was one of those people who always did things for others and never asked for anything.

“The reality of losing her in these circumstances is still hitting us – two weeks before her stroke had affected her so badly the consultants were asking if we wanted to bring her home to die, and then they had her up and about.”

Mrs Rotheram, a proud grandma to seven and great-grandma to two, dedicated a lot of her time to caring for vulnerable people, spending over 30 years as a care assistant at Stocks Park Residential Home in Horwich.

From Paisley, in Scotland, the keen shopper moved to Horwich over 60 years ago, living with her husband Tom until her tragic death on April 12.

Frank Nuttall, 64, and his mother-in-law, 89-year-old Hilda Lee, both died from coronavirus just six days apart.

Linda Tuppen, 66, Jack Bullough, 85, Karen Platt, 58, Brian Barlow, 80, Malcolm Roebuck, 81, and Steven Pearson, 65, also died after contracting the virus.

Dr Nasir Khan, a father-of-three, was a consultant who died at the Royal Bolton Hospital with coronavirus.

He became ill while working at Dewsbury and District Hospital in West Yorkshire, commuting back to the borough to his family home.

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The hard-working 46-year-old had previously worked at Fairfield Hospital as a consultant in general medicine.

Paying tribute at the time of his death, son Mahad Ali Khan said: “My dad was a loving, caring and much-loved father, husband, son, brother and friend.”

Three employees at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust have died after contracting the virus, including health care assistant Lourdes Campbell.

Known as Des to her colleagues, the 54-year-old had worked at the borough’s hospital for nearly 13 years before her death on April 15.

Gill Oakes, a senior clinical support nurse at Bolton Hospice, died at the borough’s hospital on April 30 after contracting the virus.

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Speaking about the borough’s healthcare workers who had died with coronavirus, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “We’ve been thinking of them all the way through this.

“All the way through this we wanted to come to a moment where we did properly create a moment where we can pay our tributes to those who were serving their community, putting themselves at risk in doing so, and who now are no longer with us.

“We can’t pay them a higher compliment in saying they are the best of us. We won’t forget what they have done. Tomorrow is just a moment where we can step back and say that to their families.

“You should be so tremendously proud to have someone in your family who did that at this hour of need, someone who put themselves forward in the service of others, and we just want to say as representatives of the city-region that we will always remember them and we will always be grateful to them for remembering what they did.

“I think it’s been really difficult for those families who have lost loved ones through this strange period of lockdown. And it would just feel really odd if the world was to start to return to normal and nothing was done to recognise that or to honour those who have been lost.

“We’re so grateful to the cathedral for hosting it and leading it and we hope it will bring some comfort to families in Bolton and beyond.”

GM Remembers, the online remembrance book for people who have died with the virus, hopes to memorialise the victims of the virus.

Grant Maganga, a mental health nurse from Tameside, Ann Fitzgerald from Sale, and Paul Ardrey from Salford, are also featured on the page.

Memorial pieces have been uploaded to two paramedics from North West Ambulance Service – Stuart Monk, from Wigan, and Phil Rennie, from Bury.

Visit gmremembers.org.uk to view the tributes, or to add your own memorial. to someone who died with the virus.