‘The mother she’ll never meet’: young parents among UK Covid victims

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C ovid-19 deaths in the UK have reached their highest level since mid-March, data shows. The seven-day average for deaths within 28 days of a positive test now stands at 100, figures released by Public Health England on Monday show, a number that was last exceeded on 18 March.

Tributes to those who have died in the recent wave included some from the family and friends of Samantha Willis, 35, a mother of four from Derry who contracted Covid-19 while heavily pregnant and died 16 days later after having given birth to her daughter Evie Grace.

Her husband, Josh, urged those unvaccinated to get the Covid jab, tweeting: “As I write this I am laying beside her. She is 35, unvaccinated and in a coffin. Let that sink in.” She died in Altnagelvin hospital on Friday. In a Facebook post her husband wrote he had lost the love of his life and would make sure “Evie Grace will know all about the mother she will never meet”.

Danni Coombs, a mother of three who died just days before her 26th birthday in hospital in Milton Keynes, was described as having been slightly nervous about getting her jabs, and so busy with her children that she never got round to doing it.

Her aunt Kelly Coombs, who has set up a GoFundMe page, said her death was a shock, as “everyone still thought she was young enough and strong enough to pull through”. She had a known medical condition.

UK Covid deaths average 100 a day with fears of rise when schools return Read more

“We’re angry that she wasn’t put on the vulnerable list because of her immune problem,” her aunt told the Milton Keynes Citizen. “If she’d had an official call she would have gone to get the jab a long time ago. But she didn’t and, like many people, she kept putting it off because she was busy with other things. She was also slightly nervous about it, but her mum and her partner had even arranged to take her there. Before they had a chance, she caught Covid and it was too late.”

Andrew Killeen, 34, a car insurance worker, had delayed his jab to give blood and was trying to rebook his vaccination when he caught Covid, according to tributes. The father of two, from Stockton-on-Tees, who had no underlying health conditions, died on 10 August after spending three weeks on ventilators at North Tees hospital.

His widow, Laura, 33, told local media: “He really wanted the vaccine, and if he had been a bit more selfish, he might still be alive. He always gave to charity and would do anything for anyone. Everyone loved him, for that.”

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