Look North's Cathy Killick shares her heartbreak after both her parents die of coronavirus within six weeks of each other
BBC Look North reporter Cathy Killick has spoken of her heartbreak after both her parents died of coronavirus within the space of six weeks.
Ms Killick’s father, Ted, who was a gunner in the army before he retired, died on December 2 in his care home. He had been living with dementia and had not been able to see his wife since the start of the pandemic.
Her mother, Elizabeth, a former primary school teacher, had a stroke two days before his funeral and contracted the virus in hospital.
She was later discharged to be able to be with family members after it was clear that she wouldn't recover.
She died at home after being given palliative care by Ms Killick and district nurses who visited every day.
In an emotional film shown on last night’s Look North, Ms Killick paid tribute to her parents, and to the care workers and NHS staff who treated them:
She said: “They were such lovely parents. They took us camping and helped us out whenever they could.
“I’m doing this in their memory and also because I know as a reporter, it’s really hard to give voices to the bereaved but there are thousands like me, holed up grieving their loved ones.
“The staff and carers did everything they could at my dad's care home to keep him safe, I won't hear a word said against them. They were unflagging and dedicated.
"My mum had fantastic help from the district nursing team. I am so grateful to that team of nurses, they let me be with my mum which I know she wanted and they were outstanding.
"On the morning my mum died, two young carers came and they were working from seven in the morning until ten at night. They looked after my mum with such incredible tenderness and delicacy. It was a really beautiful thing to see.
"When we talk about protecting the NHS, it's not an institution or a building, it's people.
"This virus exploits us. I can't wait for it to be over. That's only going to happen with kindness and support with people around us, because that truly is the best of us."
Over 8,000 people have now died with the virus in Yorkshire.