A woman is devastated when four family members died of coronavirus after meeting on Christmas Day.
Tracy Latham of Mackworth in Derby described the “terrible” ordeal after losing her partner, parents and uncle, all of whom were Covid-19 contracts.
The family had been screened since March but met on Christmas Day after restrictions that allowed households to meet for a day were relaxed.
The 50-year-old was due to marry her 48-year-old partner Darren Fisher this July, after dating 12 years.
The mother of three claimed her partner caught the virus after walking to his parents’ house for just two hours. Derbyshire Live Reports.
She believes the family members would not have gotten coronavirus if the government prevented people from meeting on Christmas Day.
Over the following week, Darren, his parents Pat and David Fisher, aged 79 and 82, and his uncle Michael Wilson, who was in his early 70s, all tested positive for the virus.
They have all since passed away, while Darren’s other uncle, Geoffrey, who also has coronavirus, is still recovering from a serious illness.
Tracy stated that the only family member who had an underlying health condition was Pat, who had diabetes.
“We don’t really know who passed it on,” she said
“Nobody was sick – Mick had a little tickling, but that was all.
“Darren’s mother said ‘We have my brother (Michael) come’ because they were all shielded.
“So they spent the day together – Pat and David and Michael and his partner Gladis.
“Darren came over to them for a few hours to say hello as they hadn’t seen each other in ages. It was a quick flight visit around 9pm.”
Darren’s mother, Pat, fell and injured her leg on Boxing Day and was admitted to the Royal Derby Hospital the following day.
Tracy added, “She was starting to feel tired and run down.
“A few days later, she tested positive for coronavirus as her condition got worse.”
Pat received her positive test result just days after arriving at the hospital and ruled out the possibility of getting it on the ward.
“Darren caught a bit of cold and started breathing,” said Tracy.
He was really having trouble breathing and we called an ambulance on December 29th. “
Tracy hoped his condition would improve, but the situation did not improve.
“I got a call from Darren on Friday to say they would put him on a ventilator,” she said.
“I told him to do the right thing and those were the last words I said to him. He was on the ventilator for nine days.
“At one point it looked really bad and they said I had to come in and talk to him. I was there and said ‘you really have to fight this’.”
What Darren would not have known at this point is that both of his parents had already passed away, with David dying on Jan 4th and Pat on Jan 6th.
“His uncle is in the next bay at the same time,” added Tracy.
“I said ‘you have to keep fighting’. It was absolutely terrible.”
Unfortunately, Darren did not recover and died on January 11th when his uncle Michael died a few days later.
Pat, Darren and Michael all died within a week at the Royal Derby Hospital, while David, who had dementia, died in a convalescent home he was staying in while Pat was in the hospital.
David tested positive for Covid after his death and Tracy believes he is the person who passed it on to Geoffrey, who went around to help him while Pat was in the hospital.
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Right now, Tracy thinks about the wonderful memories she had of Darren and his parents.
“He helped me raise my three children for 12 years,” she said.
“He had worked at Sainsbury’s for 18 years and people always said he had a smile on his face.
“You were a lovely family – the best mother and father you could hope for. Your door was always open to you. There was a whole Derby family and so nice.
“Darren was a Derby County fan, it was his life. He went to every game he could with his friends and he loved watching darts.”
She also warned those she believes are not taking the pandemic seriously.
She added: “We are all shocked and devastated.
“Please, you have to take this really seriously. Darren’s mother and father were shielded for almost a year thinking they were safe and sound.
“It shows that it can happen to anyone in the blink of an eye.”