Family in disbelief after mum and son die of Covid-19 within hours of each other
A grief-stricken family have told of their heartache after a 'healthy' mum and son died of coronavirus within seven hours of each other.
Mark Wakefield, 53, and his mother Dorothy Wakefield, 79, both lost their fight against the killer virus on Saturday.
The pair, who lived next door to each other in Cornwallis Street, Stoke, had been rushed to the Royal Stoke University Hospital last month where a test confirmed both had Covid-19.
At one point Dorothy appeared to be well enough to be discharged, only for her to be struck down with pneumonia, Stoke on Trent Live reports.
The former pottery worker passed away at 4am, while dad-of-one Mark – who had been in an induced coma for a week – died shortly before 11am.
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Now Emily Murrell – the granddaughter of Dorothy and niece of Mark – is calling on people to take the pandemic seriously after it left her family in pieces within the space of just a few days.
The 25-year-old said: "A lot of people think Covid's not real or that it just takes it out of you and then you get better.
"When my nan and uncle went to hospital they didn't think they would never be coming home again.
"Granted, a lot of people do get over it but that's not always the case. It's so, so dangerous. Friends of my uncle have said they were sceptical about Covid until he died. It's been a real eye-opener."
The family's nightmare started last month when Mark, who was a full-time carer for Dorothy, suddenly lost his sense of taste and smell.
"He was coughing that badly and he was struggling for breath so he rang the ambulance," Emily said.
"Nan wasn't too bad at this stage but the paramedics ended up taking her to hospital too. They both had tests which confirmed they had it.
"Mark wasn't doing very well and he needed to be put on oxygen and in a matter of days he ended up on critical care. He couldn't breathe by himself and his oxygen levels kept dropping.
"He was trying to stay in good spirits and told us he was going to fight it. He kept saying he couldn't wait to come home and have a curry.
"But he just kept getting worse and he needed a CPAP machine. He was saying that it was really hurting. The Covid was putting so much stress on his body.
"There just wasn't any improvement so they decided to put him in a coma.
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"Nan was on a different ward and didn't know how bad Mark was because we didn't want to make it any worse for her. It was just horrible, it didn't seem real.
"We're only a small family and we just kept thinking 'we can't lose them both'.
"Mum went up to the hospital at midnight to see nan. She was telling her how it was all going to be OK and that we all loved her.
"Mum went home but then rang me at 5am to say nan had gone. She just couldn't fight anymore. She just decided that she was going."
Then at 11am the family got the devastating news that Mark had died as well.
"We can't believe they both went in the space of a few hours," Emily said.
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"Our only comfort is that they both went together so will never be apart."
The pair also leave behind Dorothy's daughter and Mark's sister Amanda Murrell, 54, and Mark's 15-year-old daughter Lily Sheldon.
"My uncle was always out and about. He was really sociable and had so many friends," Emily said.
"He was so bubbly, all he wanted to do was make people laugh. He was a massive personality. He loved horse racing, going fishing and a drink in The Commercial.
"He loved his food and was a big lad but had no underlying health problems. It just shows you Covid can happen to anyone.
"My nan suffered from water infections but was otherwise healthy for her age.
"She was just so sweet, she had time for everyone. She was just a lovely lady. She always had a smile on her face and would do anything for anybody."
A GoFundMe page has now been set up to support the family, with £4,000 donated in three days.
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