Devastated family lose three grandparents to coronavirus in a month

Devastated family lose three grandparents to coronavirus in a single month after they all developed symptoms following a 40th birthday party

  • All three pensioners are thought to have caught the virus at a small family gathering to celebrate their daughter’s/daughter-in-law’s birthday  
  • The birthday party was held before the lockdown and the family are urging everyone to obey the guidelines strictly to prevent a similar loss 
  • The tragedy has prompted Nicola Sturgeon to pay tribute to the Glasgow family who have not been able to see their loved ones in the run up to their deaths
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A grieving family has lost three grandparents to coronavirus in the space of a single month.

Andy Leaman, 42, from Glasgow told how his young daughter Anna, aged nine, was left reeling from the tragedy.

He lost his own parents, Mary, 72 and Andy Snr, 73, and also father-in-law Dougie Chambers, 66, after all three pensioners developed symptoms after going to a birthday party before the lockdown.

The tragedy has prompted Nicola Sturgeon to pay tribute to the family who have felt unable to say proper goodbyes to their loved ones.  

Dougie with Anna. Andy Leaman’s small, close knit family, life will never be the same again. Andy’s mum, dad and father-in-law have died from coronavirus, devastating their daughter

The party, on March 7, was to celebrate the 40th birthday of Andy’s partner, Lynsey Chamber.

But in the wake of the tragedies, Andy is urging people to take extra caution and said his dad, Andy Snr, had been released from hospital after testing negative but then took a fatal turn for the worse.

His father-in-law, Dougie, was a keen hillwalker despite suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma and was hospitalised on March 18.

Dougie tested positive and was put in an induced coma for ten days, and tragically died on March 26 at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Left to right: Lynsey, Alan Leaman, Dougie, Lynsey’s sister Wendy, Anna, Wendy’s daughter Mia and Wendy’s husband Niall

Andy’s parents, Mary and Andy Snr, began to self-isolate after showing symptoms.

But Mary, who also had COPD and previously battled pneumonia, died at home on March 30, and Andy Snr was told to go to hospital as a precaution and tested positive for Covid-19.

Andy Snr spent ten days on a ward in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital alone, but his health began to improve and he was allowed home, finally testing negative for coronavirus, on April 9, and his son moved in to care for him and grieve together.

On April 15, Andy Snr began to cough again and was short of breath so Andy called the GP the following morning, and the OAP was taken to hospital where medics warned the virus had taken hold but was worse than before.

Doting grandpa Dougie with granddaughters Mia, Anna and Kerrie

Just four days later, on April 19, Andry Snr died.

Andy, who works as a printer at a newspaper printer plant said: ‘When my mum and dad started showing symptoms I’d kind of prepared myself after Dougie’s death for my mum being very ill.

‘I’d prepared myself to think that if my mum gets this then there’s no chance of survival for her.

‘But not being able to go and see them or be in the house with them, that was really, really hard to take.

Left to right: Andy Leaman, Lynsey’s other daughter Kerrie, Lynsey, Anna, Andy’s mother Mary, Dougie at the back and Andy Leaman’s dad Andy 

‘I’ve got three comforts from what happened and one of the comforts is that she did die in the house as she wouldn’t have wanted to be alone in hospital.’

‘It was obviously devastating for my dad for my mum to die in the house and for him to be the only one there.

‘But after that, to be taken to hospital at the same time and no one being allowed to be with him, he had to grieve alone in the hospital.

‘And I can’t even imagine how that must have been for him, not allowed to grieve in the normal way around family.

‘When he came out and I was living with him, I don’t think he’d quite accepted it, and neither had I.

‘You just expect my mum to walk in the door or be somewhere in the house.

‘It was hard and surreal.

‘But then we had this sunny side that after the two deaths that we’ve had, at least my dad was back home now.’

The dad-of-one, from Castlemilk, Glasgow, recalled how the virus devastated his ‘fit’ father-in-law’s health.

Andy said: ‘It wasn’t until we lost contact with Dougie and he was on a ventilator in ICU that this really hit.

‘Although he had other health conditions he was a really fit person who enjoyed hillwalking.

‘But it was so swift, so quick, that it caught him unawares.’

And he recalled the horror of watching his own dad battle the killer bug.

Andy said: ‘He was fighting right to the end until I told him, ‘You’ve done your best. Just be with my mum now.’

‘That’s another one of my comforts, to know that they’re together again.’

And he said the devastation of losing three loved-ones in four weeks had not sunk in for his daughter.

Andy added: ‘It’s not something a nine-year-old should go through.

‘It’s bad enough one, but having three in four weeks is too much.

‘We have a really small immediate family but a very close family.

‘That was our world and now it’s three less.

‘People don’t really realise unless it’s affected somebody they know.

‘But people need to realise it is real.

‘These guidelines that are set out need to be followed.

‘It may be them next and their families and we would not want anyone to go through what we have had to go through.’

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