Husband and wife with Covid-19 die 12 hours apart

The family of a couple who died with coronavirus just 12 hours apart have urged the public to stick with health guidance.

Owen and Bredge Ward, who were both 69, died in Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry on Tuesday.

The couple, who were from Strabane in Co Tyrone and had been married 48 years, had six children and nine grandchildren.

Their son Martin said he held his father’s hand as he died, while his siblings were at the funeral home with his mother.

“This is what the disease does – it can be mild or it can devastate lives,” he told BBC NI.

“Within hours, my mum, who was improving, just went downhill. Maybe it was the shock.

“Fast forward a week and my father was improving and my mother was getting worse.

“She passed away yesterday, then my father, from a position where he was getting better, just completely collapsed and within a couple of hours of my mother dying, he passed away too.”

Mr Ward, who works as a nurse in Galway, added: “Even though they were sedated and had pain relief and loving care from the staff at Altnagelvin Hospital, both of them just completely collapsed within a couple of hours.

“That’s just how it is. That’s the hurt and suffering that this caused to different families and the same message that we need to get across is just look after people, adhere to the guidelines and care about other people.”

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