THE family of an east Belfast man who died suddenly after weeks of feeling unwell have urged anyone feeling ill to still get "checked out" by their GP despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jonathan Lundy, who was 39 and from Bryson Street in the Short Strand area, died from heart failure on Friday at his home.
The youngest of nine siblings, the much-loved son and brother had been feeling unwell for a number of weeks but had not sought medical advice.
Alice McComb said her brother's death had left the family "devastated".
She said the loss of her youngest brother, who had suffered with mental health problems since the age of 17, meant "life will never be the same".
"Over the last couple of weeks he was complaining about feeling unwell. Pains in his stomach, headaches and he was very swollen," Ms McComb said.
"With Covid, nobody is going to the doctors. He was afraid to go to the doctors because of his mental illness. He didn't go anywhere. He just stayed in the house".
Alice said while Covid-19 restrictions had made the loss of her brother more difficult, the local community had come together to support the family.
"My mummy is isolating," she said.
"She is 78. We can't even hug her or kiss her. She has lost her baby. We are trying to protect her.
"We can't get over the people in the area. My mummy didn't realise how much he was loved. The support from the community has been brilliant. Even with the restrictions people have kept their distance and handed their cards in. My mother is overwhelmed."
Ms McComb said her brother, who cared for their disabled brother, George, would be remembered as someone who had "a heart of gold".
"He was very funny and witty," she said.
"He was a gentle giant. He was 6ft. He had an infectious laugh. He always had a smile for everybody.
"He was a handsome big lad. He was very generous. He would have given you his last penny.
"He went through the mill with his mental health. All he ever wanted was to fall in love and have a wee family of his own. He idolised his nieces and nephews".
Yesterday, Mr Lundy's remains stopped at his home at Bryson Street, where family came together to sing `You'll Never Walk Alone' in tribute to the 39-year-old's love for Liverpool Football Club, before the cortege made its way to Roselawn Cemetery for burial.
Ms McComb appealed for anyone feeling unwell to not be afraid to consult medical advice amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Hindsight is a wonderful thing," she said.
"If you feel you are unwell, go and get checked out. You just don't know. We thought it could have been the cold working on him. We never actually thought Jonathan was going to pass away on us."
She added: "Your heart has been ripped out. It is like you have lost a part of yourself.
"We are just devastated".