A mother tragically died from Covid-19 after telling her husband and five-year-old son she loved them in a heartbreaking phone call from her hospital bed.
Emma Reilly, 38, passed away after 12 days on a ventilator at the Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester following a positive test for coronavirus.
The mother-of-one had suffered cold symptoms – including a sore throat and runny nose – which dramatically worsened over the Christmas period.
Her husband Tony, 38, decided to call for an ambulance on Boxing Day when her condition deteriorated further and she developed an ‘unusual cough’.
Ms Reilly – who had undiagnosed cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin – was placed on a ventilator soon afterwards, and she died in hospital on January 7.
Speaking of his final conversation with his wife, Mr Reilly said: ‘She rang me and she was so weak she could hardly speak. She told me and Connor that she loved us.
‘That was the last time I ever spoke to her. They put her to sleep and placed her on a ventilator.’
The heartbroken father spoke as Britain yesterday recorded a devastating 1,820 victims of the virus – the UK’s largest single day death toll since the pandemic began.
Staff later told the father that Ms Reilly wasn’t getting enough oxygen into her body and they were looking to put her to sleep and place her on a ventilator.
Her husband then received a call in the early hours of January 7 to say nothing more could be done for his wife, and that he needed to go to the hospital.
He said: ‘I had Connor with me and asked if he could come which they agreed.
‘The staff were amazing and helped to look after him while I was there.
‘She briefly showed signs of recovery and they told me to go back home again, take a shower, and have some food.
‘I did that and returned later but her condition worsened.
‘They said she didn’t have much longer. I held her hand as she passed away.
‘The hardest thing I have ever had to do was to tell Connor that his mummy had gone to heaven.
‘It broke my heart. He has been very brave but I catch him crying at times.
‘He seems to get a bit embarrassed that he is crying but I tell him that it’s OK we need to speak about mummy.’
Mr Reilly said medical staff at the hospital told him his wife had been suffering from undiagnosed cellulitis – an infection caused by bacteria getting into the deeper layers of the skin.
He said her death has not just devastated his family, including Ms Reilly’s parents Doreen and Mike, but her many friends in Redditch where she lived most of her life.