Grieving Leeds mum and daughter cannot hug after 60-year-old dad's coronavirus death

The daughter of a previously fit and healthy 60-year-old Leeds man said her family has been left devastated after his death from coronavirus.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 6:00 am

Grandfather-of-two Tony Clay, of Bardsey - a keen golfer and regular gym goer - died at Leeds General Infirmary on April 14.

Mr Clay's daughter Kathryn de Prudhoe - who has not been able to give her mother Joyce a comforting hug - said the family has received "overwhelming" support from friends and the north Leeds community.

Mrs de Prudhoe, of Oakwood, said she and her mother, who is self-isolating, have supported each other by talking and crying together at a safe distance.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Tony Clay pictured weith his wife Joyce, daughter Kathryn de Prudhoe and grandchildren Ruby and Jacob.

Mrs De Prudhoe said her father, a retired civil engineer, had flu-like symptoms for around two-weeks before falling at home in the early hours of Saturday April 11 after becoming confused and disoriented.

He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by ambulance and admitted to a Covid-19 intensive care ward after testing positive for coronavirus.

Doctors told Mr Clay's family it was suspected he had suffered a heart attack and had a bleed on the brain.

Mrs de Prudhoe said: "They looked after him really well and they gave him everything they could possibly give him.

"He just went really quickly and peacefully and they held his hand until the end."

Mrs de Prudhoe said she and her two children Ruby, eight, and Jacob, five, have received support from the Roundhay Primary School community.

Teachers and the school head have spoken to the children on their doorstep and parents are shopping for the family.

Mrs de Prudhoe, who works as a counsellor, said "The support is overwhelming - it is keeping us going."

She added: "He was totally and utterly devoted to his family and grandchildren.

"I can't believe it. I'm totally and utterly in shock and absolutely devastated.

" I never imagined for one minute that this would happen. My dad was strong and fit and healthy and he lived every day to its fullest.

"It was really hard not being able to say goodbye, but we are going to remember him as he always was instead of how he was at the end.

"The really difficult part is the funeral, because he was a man who loved a party and a drink and he loved people.

"Hundreds of people would want to come and they can't and that is a really poor send off for someone who was loved by so many."

"The days ahead without him are going to be hard but I know that I’ll be OK.

"My dad gave me everything I need to get through this – I’m standing on the shoulders of a giant."