Son of coronavirus victim wore ‘protective mask full of tears’ as he said bye

The son of a dead coronavirus patient described the tragic moment he had to say goodbye to his dad in hospital quarantine.

Visiting his father at North Manchester General Hospital, Jonathan Blakeley, said his protective mask was “full of tears” as he saw dad Darrell for the last time.

Darell is believed to of contacted the virus at a restaurant, after coming into contact with a skier returning from northern Italy.

Jonathan said he was not allowed to be with the 88-year-old in his "direst hour" and called the coronavirus the “cruellest disease.”

He added the virus took away a dad that had looked after him his entire life and felt helpless.

After he passed, distraught Jonathan said his father was quickly wrapped in plastic and put in an airtight coffin.

He told ITV News Darrell had initially tested negative for the highly contagious virus but was admitted on March 3 with sepsis before being placed into quarantine.

It became clear he had likely come into direct contact with a confirmed patient and was then tested positive before becoming extremely ill and died.

Jonathan said the "mental anguish" that comes with the disease is "almost as bad" as physical effects.

While wearing protective gear, he said he held his dad’s hand and stroked his hair, but was only allowed to comfort him for 15 minutes.

Jonathan said: “He didn’t really know what was going on at that stage.

“He couldn’t breathe properly.

“His lungs were filling with fluid and rattling, and again, I’d gowned up, the nurse accompanied me into the room in a very dignified way letting me speak my last moments to my father.”

Trying to ease his dad, Jonathan told him a “white lie” and said he would get better and be “out in three days” to see the sunny spring weather.

Darell’s family are not allowed to see his body again after it was “forever sealed” and taken to a morgue.

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He encouraged families going through similar experiences to “pull together” and self isolate.

People in the UK have been told to avoid pubs, clubs and restaurants and work from home wherever possible to slow the spread of coronavirus which has now claimed 55 lives in the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a press conference yesterday urged everyone to "stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel”.

The PM said London appeared to be “a few weeks ahead” of other areas and urged people in the capital to pay special attention to the measures – including home working – suggested by the Government.

  • Coronavirus

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