Aaron Casha was a father and husband, an excellent surgeon, a supportive mentor and a kind teacher who taught a whole generation of Maltese doctors. 

This is the way several will remember the 53-year-old who for months had been treated in hospital for other complications, before being dealt a final blow by COVID-19 overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Casha was the sixth coronavirus patient in Malta to die. 

A renowned and much-respected heart surgeon, Casha had also made headlines in 2014 when he joined two other colleagues in calling for propeller guards to be made mandatory for boats.

His daughter Hannah led the tributes to her late father. 

“Your unparalleled resilience always had everybody amazed - both during the past 10 years but especially throughout this last year. I am proud to say that I did everything I could to make you feel comfortable, understood and loved. I feel so blessed to have had you,” she said on Wednesday morning, as Malta woke up to news of Casha's death.

Her only consolation is that he is “no longer in a constant battle against life”.

As tributes poured in, his brother James said Casha will be “sorely missed as an excellent surgeon, and a kind and supportive teacher, academic and mentor.”

A memorial mass will be held when circumstances permit, he added.

The Health Ministry said the man suffered serious underlying medical issues and was diagnosed with COVID-19 four days ago. 

Frank O’Neill, a friend of Casha's, also paid tribute to his vocation, writing “your generous nature spurned you on to choose a career in medicine where you could give others a real chance... a heart surgeon with the biggest heart I’ve ever known”.

He added that although there was little hope for Casha to emerge from a coma, “we still held on and hoped for a miracle”.

His wife Marilyn Casha, a consultant anaesthetist with a special interest in pain medicine, wrote on Facebook in March of 2019, under a photo of herself and her husband: “More bad news. Still alive, but dismal prognosis. May God help us both.”

Among those bidding farewell, former health minister Joe Cassar recalled an “intellectual and loving family man.”

Photo: FacebookPhoto: Facebook

For President at Malta Paralympic Committee Joseph Grima, Casha was not just a colleague, but also "a true and very close friend".

"I was blessed to have known him and work with him on various projects related to biomechanics and auxetics," he said.

His funeral mass, at 5pm on Wednesday (today), is being livestreamed on Facebook, the Apostolate of St Paul said.


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