Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Heartbroken relatives of Co Tyrone grandfather urge public to heed isolation advice

Leonard Gibson (78), who was from Fintona in Co Tyrone, contracted coronavirus and died on St Patrick's Day, three days after he was admitted to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield 
Tom Wilkinson and Eleanor Barlow, PA

The heartbroken family of a grandfather who died after contracting coronavirus have urged others to heed the official advice.

Leonard Gibson (78), from Fintona in Co Tyrone, died on St Patrick's Day, three days after he was admitted to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.

The grandfather of four, who had the lung condition COPD, moved to South Yorkshire aged 26.

In 1984, Mr Gibson, who was one of 14 children, moved back to the same Fintona street he grew up in.

The gifted musician, who could play by ear, finally returned to Sheffield two years ago to be near his two daughters as his health deteriorated.

His grandson Josiah Lenton said: "He was very family oriented and took an interest in everyone in his family both here and in Northern Ireland.

"He'd always tell us to drive carefully, to take care, to look after ourselves and each other.

"In spite of his health, he always had a smile on his face, and was always happy to crack a joke.

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"He'll be sorely missed by all of us.

"He did have quite a hard time in later years with his health but he always was irrepressibly happy."

Mr Lenton praised the NHS care his grandfather received.

And he urged people to take heed of the official advice on keeping themselves and others safe.

He said: "I think it is absolutely essential that people take this seriously and follow all the guidance."

In a video for the BBC, his sister Tahlia Lenton said: "My grandpa was a charming Irish bagpipe player.

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"He put his family above everything."

She added: "The more people that don't take it seriously, the more tragedies like this and more families will be in this position, and I don't want that to happen to anyone."

Meanwhile, Donna Cuthbert urged people to stay inside after the death of her partner Tim Galley, from Wrexham, North Wales, who was suspected to have contracted coronavirus.

She told website North Wales Live the 47-year-old had become unwell on Sunday with a tickle in his throat and went on to develop a fever the following day.

Ms Cuthbert said: "As he was getting steadily worse, I asked him to phone for an ambulance but he kept on saying to me that he was fine, that he had no underlying health conditions and that they would be too busy dealing with other people."

She said Mr Galley's body was discovered at his flat on Tuesday.

In a post on Facebook, Ms Cuthbert (46) paid tribute to her "beloved best friend".

She said: "Please, please will you all take the advice and stay indoors and follow the rules.

"This virus is serious and taking our loved ones."

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