Trolls claiming Covid is a hoax target heartbroken family as they plan triple funeral after grandmother, 74, and two sons, 44 and 42, died from virus in space of five days
- David Lewis, 81, lost his wife Gladys, 74, and sons Dean, 44, and Darren, 42
- The Welsh grandfather lost all three family members in the space of five days
- The family have been targeted by trolls online as they plan a triple funeral
- Dean’s widow, Claire Lewis, called on people to ‘wise up’ and take virus seriously
A family ‘broken’ by their loss after a man lost his wife and two sons to Covid-19 within five days of each other has been targeted by trolls claiming the virus is a hoax.
David Lewis, 81, lost his wife Gladys, 74, on Thursday when she died at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital days after showing symptoms of the virus.
Their son Dean, 44, died at his home in Treorchy the next day and Darren, 42, who had Down’s Syndrome, died on Monday – with all three deaths confirmed to be Covid-19 related.
The pensioner has been left devastated by their deaths and has told his family: ‘It should have been me’.
Trolls have targeted the Welsh family online as they prepare to organise a triple funeral in a fortnight.
Brothers Darren, 42, (pictured left) and Dean Lewis, 44, (pictured centre) died within days of each other. Their mother Gladys, 74, also died after showing symptoms of the virus
Gladys Lewis, 74, (pictured) died last Thursday at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Ynysmaerdy, south Wales after contracting coronavirus
Father-of-three Dean’s widow, Claire Lewis, told the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4: ‘People are still thinking it’s just a big joke and saying it’s not real, but to me it is bloody real.
‘There are still gatherings going on and people meeting up and other things.
‘People don’t think this is going to happen to them, But look at our family, it happened to us.’
She is one of 10 members of their family who reportedly contracted the virus, all of whom are now in isolation.
Mrs Lewis and her youngest son, 12, have tested positive for the virus and she is waiting on results for her eldest children, 14 and 19.
The family, from Pentre, Rhondda Cynon Taf, all lived in the same block of flats, but said they had no idea how they caught the virus as they had taken special precautions to avoid catching it.
Their family was at a higher risk of the virus because of Darren’s Down’s syndrome and David and Gladys’ age.
David Lewis, 81, has been left devastated by the loss and told family members: ‘It should have been me’
Claire Lewis (left) and David Lewis (right) have been targeted by trolls on social media who claim the virus is a hoax
Darren had not left his flat since February.
Ms Lewis said the family were struggling to come to terms with what had happened and their grief is even harder to cope with now they are all in isolation.
Ms Lewis, 44, from Treorchy, Wales, told the BBC: ‘We are totally devastated, all of us. My father-in-law is broken, he has lost his wife and his two children.
‘He keeps on saying to us, ‘It should have been me, it should have been me’.
‘It’s so difficult to try and help him, and hold me and my children together, because my children are absolutely devastated, and my sister-in-law is.’
Ms Lewis said the family is ‘taking some comfort from the hundreds of condolence messages’ they have all received.
But warned people who thought coronavirus was ‘a big joke’ to ‘wise up’ and take it seriously.
Darren Lewis had not left his flat since February as has was at a higher risk of the virus because of his Down’s syndrome
A GoFundMe page set up by family friend Alison Higgins has now launched a fundraising campaign has raised more than £5,000 for the family since being started four days ago.
Fundraiser Ms Higgins, from Treorchy, called the family’s ordeal ‘the stuff of nightmares’, adding: ‘It’s incomprehensible what’s happened.’
Ms Lewis said: ‘As a family, we are extremely grateful to each and every person that has offered us help in any way and are taking some comfort from the hundreds of condolence messages we have all received.
‘We are really overwhelmed by the fundraising’.
Dr David Miller of Forest View Medical Centre, Treorchy, who has been helping the family, said: ‘This has had a devastating effect on the family and I wish people would take this pandemic seriously.’
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