Daughter of man who died from coronavirus urges public to 'take it seriously'

Leonard Gibson died from the coronavirus aged 78 on Tuesday. He is pictured with his daughters Lisa Broughton, 50, (left) and Michelle Lenton, 51 (right). (SWNS)

The daughter of a man who died of the coronavirus is urging the public to take the infection seriously.

Leonard Gibson suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which often left him coughing and short of breath.

The grandfather was initially diagnosed with a bacterial chest infection and prescribed antibiotics.

Things took a turn for the worse over the weekend, with Gibson being rushed to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital on Saturday, where he was diagnosed with the coronavirus Covid-19.

Kept in isolation, Gibson died aged 78 on Tuesday, without his loved ones around him.

His daughter Lisa Broughton, 50, is speaking out to encourage Britons to follow official advice, look out for symptoms and “take care of each other”.

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Leonard Gibson moved from his native Northern Ireland to Sheffield when he was 26. (SWNS)

“We need to be extra vigilant with our families,” said Broughton.

“Of course coronavirus was always on our mind, but part of us considered it wouldn't happen to us.

“When only so many people have been diagnosed with the illness you think it can't possibly touch us, we've not been abroad or anything.

"My dad was already relatively housebound so he wasn't going out and mingling with others.”

Gibson’s carers, family and others who came into contact with him are now in isolation.

‘We like to think he went giving one final jig’

Gibson’s family realised something was wrong when they visited him at his sheltered housing flat in Oughtibridge, near Sheffield.

“He was very very tired; he wasn't well at all,” said Broughton.

“But he has been like this before, it was upsetting but just because my dad was ill, not because I thought he had coronavirus.”

Gibson was rushed to hospital, where he was greeted by staff wearing masks.

Protective gear was also passed to Broughton and her sister Michelle Lenton, 51.

“We were told it was a precaution,” said Broughton. “But he ended up testing positive [for the coronavirus].

“We were with dad while waiting for his results and were able to speak to him, but he wasn't very with it.

“He didn't know what was happening.

“We were told we had to go home and self-isolate, which we have been doing ever since.”

Gibson was born in Northern Ireland, and his family cherish that he died on St Patrick's Day.

“My dad was your typical jolly Irish man – we like to think he went giving one final jig,” said Broughton.

Broughton, who works for the NHS, described her father as “kind, loving, generous, crazy and fun-loving”.

She said he would be remembered as “a jolly Irish man who made everyone smile”.

Gibson was 'kind, loving, generous, crazy and fun-loving'. (SWNS)

‘Please take any advice you get’

Although Broughton and her family were not with her father when he died, they “felt like they were”.

“The doctors and nurses at the hospital were fantastic and kept us so informed that we felt we were there with him,” she said.

“It is sad we weren't able to be there with dad, but the nurses were there for us.

“They told us what was happening throughout and I felt we were in that room with him through them.

“For the doctors and nurses who have families of their own, putting themselves on the front line, the least we could do was to let them get on with their job.

“I knew the best place for us was away and in isolation. It's not just about us and my dad, it's the wider public”.

Research suggests four out of five coronavirus cases are mild, but at-risk groups should be aware of the complications.

The vast majority of deaths globally are occurring among elderly people or those with pre-existing health issues like asthma or diabetes.

“If anyone has elderly or ill relatives please take any advice you get and take care of each other”, said Broughton.

“Notice the symptoms and take action.”

Symptoms tend to be flu-like, such as coughs and fever.

Boris Johnson has urged all Britons to avoid social contact, ditch non-essential travel and work from home if they can.

Vulnerable people are expected to be told soon to “self isolate” entirely for up to 12 weeks.

The coronavirus, colds and flu share some symptoms, but not all. (Yahoo UK)

What is the new coronavirus?

The new coronavirus is one of seven strains of a class of viruses that are known to infect humans.

Others include the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars).

The new coronavirus is thought to have emerged at a seafood and live animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year.

It has since spread across more than 150 countries on every inhabited continent.

Since the outbreak was identified, more than 201,000 patients have been confirmed, of whom over 82,000 have “recovered”, according to John Hopkins University.

(PA Graphics)

Globally, the death toll has exceeded 8,000.

While most cases are mild, pneumonia can come about if the infection spreads to the air sacs in the lungs, causing them to become inflamed and filled with fluid or pus.

The lungs then struggle to draw in air, resulting in reduced oxygen in the bloodstream and a build-up of carbon dioxide.

The coronavirus has no “set” treatment, with most patients’ immune systems fighting off the virus naturally.

In severe cases, hospitalisation may be required if a patient needs “supportive care”.

This may include ventilation while their immune system gets to work.

Hand-washing and social distancing are thought to be the best ways to ward off infection.