Family thanks NHS staff after granddad becomes first person in Sheffield to die of coronavirus

The family of a Sheffield man who died after contracting coronavirus have thanked NHS staff for caring for him.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 1:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 2:32 pm

Leonard Gibson, aged 78, who lived in sheltered housing in Oughtibridge, died in the Northern General Hospital yesterday morning after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

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His heartbroken daughters, Lisa Broughton and Michelle Lenton, are urging people to take the illness seriously and warning that pre-existing conditions can mask the symptoms.

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Leonard Gibson with his daughters Lisa (L) and Michelle (R)

Their beloved dad developed a cough and breathing difficulties but because he had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had been diagnosed with a chest infection, coronavirus was not confirmed for some time.

Lisa and Michelle have thanked ‘amazing’ hospital staff who cared for their dad after he was admitted to hospital.

They said: “We are very grateful to all the Northern General Hospital staff that helped our dad during this difficult time, they dealt with us sensitively and efficiently and we felt constantly reassured by their kind words.

“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.

“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.”

They have 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’.

Lisa 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.”

As of last night, over 70 people in the UK had died after being diagnosed with coronavirus.