Take coronavirus seriously, say victim’s daughters

The daughters of a man who died after being diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK have urged people to take health advice about the illness seriously.

Leonard Gibson, 78, who also had the lung disease chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, died at the Northern General Hospital, in Sheffield, on Tuesday, just days after testing positive for Covid-19.

His daughters, Lisa Broughton and Michelle Lenton, paid tribute to their “kind, loving” father and appealed to people to show “community spirit, kindness and vigilance”.

Mr Gibson, who lived in sheltered accommodation in Oughtibridge, Sheffield, was admitted to hospital on Saturday after continuing to feel unwell following a course of antibiotics.

Everyone should listen to the advice we are being given and take this seriously

He tested positive for coronavirus following his admission and died three days later.

Mrs Broughton and Mrs Lenton urged everyone to take the advice being given by Public Health England and the Government seriously, and to “take time to make sure those people who may be alone or more vulnerable are able to manage over the next few months”.

Mrs Broughton said: “At a time like this, community spirit, kindness and vigilance are more important than ever to make sure we get through this outbreak.

“Everyone should listen to the advice we are being given and take this seriously.”

They described their father as “kind, loving, generous, crazy, and fun-loving – a jolly Irish man who made everyone smile”.

Even though they were probably very busy, every member of staff (at the hospital) took time to talk to us in detail, but, more importantly, they made sure dad knew each time that we had phoned and that we had said we loved him

They praised the NHS and staff at the hospital for going “the extra mile” for their family.

They said: “We have nothing but praise for the NHS and our dad’s treatment, especially the kindness that everyone showed us.

“They really went the extra mile for dad and our family.

“For example, when we could not be there in person, we rang lots of times to see how he was.

“Even though they were probably very busy, every member of staff took time to talk to us in detail, but, more importantly, they made sure dad knew each time that we had phoned and that we had said we loved him.

“A small thing but so important to us at that time.”

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024