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Monday 30 March 2020

Niece dies, 16 members of family infected after attending funeral of aunt killed by coronavirus

An 86 year old woman, Sheila Brooks from the UK died last month from coronavirus and now the family has come out to encourage people to take social distancing measures seriously after losing two loved ones to coronavirus and almost 16 relatives have become infected with the virus.

Sheila died on February 9 from Covid-19 and her funeral was held on March 13.

Within days after her burial, niece Susan Nelson, 65, fell ill and later died of coronavirus even though she had no underlying health conditions. Susan, a retired sandwich shop owner from Halesowen, West Midlands, died on the same hospital ward as her aunt Sheila.

Now, a further 16 family members- including Susan's husband, daughter, a niece and a great-uncle who have the virus, have said they suspect they caught the virus at Sheila’s funeral.

Susan's daughter Amanda, 34, an NHS business support manager, is now isolating with her father, Robert, who suffers from Addison’s Disease.

Amanda said she is worried the disease could claim the life of other family members

‘My 21-year-old cousin has it, right the way up to a great uncle that is 88 and is showing some symptoms. ‘It is a whole section of us, none of us seems to have been missed out of it just yet. It’s a bit strange.' She said to Metro UK.

‘I would say around 17 family members have been displaying symptoms since going to that funeral. It’s hit young and old in our family.Our beautiful, caring mum was the centre of the family – we are a very close, large family and this has destroyed us.’

Susan's 42 year old son Carl, who lives in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, said to Metro UK: ‘She was coughing a lot, very breathless and showing all the traditional symptoms. He added that her sudden death ‘shows how quickly this can escalate’.

‘I managed to speak to her on the phone when my dad got [to the hospital] and all she wanted was for me to come down,’ Carl said.

‘I had my suitcase packed ready to head down, but the hospital were telling me I wasn’t allowed.

I had to tell her they wouldn’t let me and I wasn’t allowed to see her. I didn’t want her to die thinking that I didn’t want to come. ‘We have got to beat it and we can’t have any other families to go through what we are going through at the moment.

‘It’s about getting the message out. It’s about seeing the faces of loved ones and thinking this is real.’

‘The speed it acts at is phenomenal and how vicious it is can’t be underestimated. ‘Everyone, please follow the advice. Stay home, stay safe. Anyone who thinks they are fit and healthy, that it’s just like the cold or flu, don’t risk it.’ Carl said

Amanda added: ‘The last person I thought it would take would be my mum. I was worried about my dad, who has underlying health conditions.’

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