A grieving husband has spoken out about the “horrific” moment his NHS worker wife died in his arms whilst struggling to breathe, following a gruelling Covid-19 battle.
Mum-of-two Laura Tanner, 51, died on April 1, gasping for breath in husband Kevin’s arms as the pair waited for paramedics to arrive.
Both Laura and Kevin, 49, as well as Laura’s youngest son Kian, 13, had fallen ill with “nasty fly-like symptoms” less than two weeks before, and followed all government advice.
But while Kevin recovered within days, Laura deteriorated – with her temperature soaring to more than 40 degrees.
By March 27, Kevin was forced to call paramedics for Laura, who stayed with her at their home in Basildon, Essex, until her temperature lowered.
But just five days later, Laura – who had worked for Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group for more than a decade – passed away.
Kevin, a crane operator in London, said: “It was horrific – I still have nightmares.
“Laura’s youngest son was in the house in his room.
“Laura hadn’t been able to get out of bed on most days, or eat, but this day she had got up and was fumbling around downstairs.
“So I went down to check on her and it was like she was having a bad panic attack.
“She was struggling for a breath and was asking me to calm her down.
“I called 999 and got Laura a paper bag and sat with her but her breathing just got shallower and shallower.
“Her eyes went small and I could see it, she was going and then she passed.
“Paramedics came within 10 minutes and four of them worked on her for about an hour then took her away.
“Around 45 minutes later two of them came and knocked on the door and said ‘we are really sorry, she’s gone’.”
Kevin added: “I just want to raise awareness of just how easy it is for this virus to take someone you love away from you.
“Laura was the most wonderful, warm, fantastic wife and mother we could have wished for. Not a day has gone by where we haven’t missed Laura around.
“This virus is real and takes lives, no matter who. Please stay inside and save lives.”
A Crowdfunding page, set up to help support Kevin, Kian, and Laura’s oldest son Ethan, 23, has so far raised over £3,600.
And writing on the Crowdfunding page, Ethan said: “Thank you all for everything everyone has donated.
“It is much appreciated, and to know my mum touched so many lives…
“Everyone has gone above and beyond, and the help we have received and all the calls and lovely messages have helped us get through this time, and will continue to help.
“I can’t wait for all this to be over and get together and celebrate mum’s life.”
Laura’s funeral took place on Friday in the presence of eight close family and friends.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kevtanner.