'He died without any of his loving family by his side': Scottish family's heartbreaking plea after Covid devastation
A family from Denny has spoken out about the devastation Covid has caused and begs the public to take the virus serious.
Stephen Brown lost his father to Covid after both of his parents, Jim and Liz Brown, tested positive.
In a moving social media post, posted on behalf of himself and his family, he explained: “Dad recently turned 74 and Mum is 73. They’ve been happily married for 53 years.
“Throughout the lockdowns, Mum and Dad have rarely ventured out, instead spending the vast majority of their time, together, happy, in their own home.
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"Mum and Dad both tested positive for COVID on Friday 5th February, the day before they were booked in for their first vaccination.”
Stephen explains that his parents had been very rigidly sticking to the coronavirus regulations, making only sporadic trips to the shops when necessary.
They were surprised that they had caught the virus.
When they tested positive, they were insistent that their children and grandchildren stay away from their home as they isolated.
Jim began struggling with the virus, and was admitted to hospital twice.
Stephen continued: “Bear in mind my mum is looking after dad on her own and as they both have Covid, none of us are allowed in the house, no matter how bad things are.
"Mum simply won’t allow us to put ourselves at risk.
"Things really started to escalate from Friday 12th.
"Since returning from hospital on the 8th, Dad slept on and off most of the time and never actually talked, all this time being looked after by my seriously fatigued, ill Mum.
"The COVID Emergency Team was called and arrived, carried out an assessment and concluded that Dad needed to go back into hospital ASAP.
"The ambulance arrived at 8pm and left around 9.30pm, leaving my Mum alone, terrified about what may happen and absolutely shattered.
"However, again, she was adamant she would cope and would not allow us to put ourselves at risk.”
Stephen and his family stress that they have nothing but admiration and gratitude for the ambulance and the care teams that stepped in to help Jim, saying “we witnessed first-hand what heroes and heroines they are.”
He wrote: “We received a call to advise that he was nearing the end and would be moved to a private room to provide us with the option of saying goodbye in person.
"We agonised over this decision, knowing that our mum would need our full support -if any of us went to hospital, we would need to self-isolate for 10/14 days.”
The family decided to phone the hospital, and it was then they received the heartbreaking news.
"The consultant that answered told us dad had just passed away.
"Devastating... he died without any of his loving family by his side.
“We take comfort in knowing that had we decided to drive to the hospital, we would not have made it in time.
Stephen and his siblings now had to work out the best way to tell their mother, ill with Covid, that her husband had died.
"So, dad’s gone, and mum doesn’t know. She’s in her house on her own, most likely asleep.
"We know that she’s suffering both mentally and physically and our main fear is that she will end up in hospital too.
“In the knowledge that she could call the hospital at any time for an update on my dad we decide that we’ll break the news, take her from her home ASAP and move her to Julie’s house.... isolated in a room, on her own, until she is no longer deemed to be infectious."
One of the family’s many concerns, was that they had to convince their mother to allow them to enter the home, such was her concern of keeping her family safe from the virus that she was suffering with.
Stephen writes: “We’re all devastated, physically, emotionally and mentally shattered, praying that our mum first of all recovers from this horrific virus and has the strength to recover from this excruciatingly, traumatic, horrific nightmare.
“So... to all you rule breakers, conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxers etc... if you’ve managed read this far, DO YOU NOW GET IT??? THIS VIRUS IS REAL AND IT KILLS RAPIDLY!
"Our mum and dad did nothing wrong and have paid the price for the selfish others that choose to flout the rules and basically don’t think or give a s*** about the consequences of their actions.
“Had we known then what we know now, we would never have allowed them to leave the house.”
The family are hopeful that people will read this experience and remember that coronavirus is not over, it is still here and incredibly dangerous.
Despite Jim’s underlying health conditions, the family say he would have had many more happy years if it hadn’t been for Covid.
Stephen concluded:"Even if reading this convinces a few people to change their attitude and behaviour and in turn saves even just one life and prevents one family going through the living hell what we’ve been through, it’s a start and gives hope that our Dads death may just be the one that
makes a difference.
"Please share this story, particularly with your elderly relatives and friends.
"Yes, they may have been vaccinated but they’re still vulnerable and need to understand the risks.
"Unless what they need to do is absolutely critical, it’s simply not worth it.”
Jim Brown, 74, died in the Forth Valley Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus. His family have given permission for their story to be shared, and have set up a Just Giving page to support Strathcarron Hospice in honour of their father. To donate, please click here.