On this episode of Stolen Goodbyes, Karen speaks to Eileen McNamee from Scotland who lost her mother Anna to COVID-19 on May 21 2020.
Anna had been a fit 91-year-old who travelled the world cycling with her husband in years gone by. Eileen relives some of her favourite memories as well as describing her mother’s battle with the unforgiving virus.
Anna recounts how her elderly father didn’t want any carers coming into the house when he learned about the pandemic. To protect him, the family decided against telling him his wife had later contracted and died from Covid 19.
Eileen is left with sadness, despair, grief and worry and wishes people understood how tough it is to lose a loved one under these circumstances.
View all episodes
1. Stuart Charlie Charlesworth35:13On this episode of Stolen Goodbyes, Karen speaks to Emma Charlesworth who lost her husband Stuart, more commonly known as Charlie, to COVID 19 at the age of just 45. Emma speaks candidly about how Charlie battled and overcame testicular cancer when he was just 26, only to lose his life to Corona virus less than two decades later. Emma speaks movingly of how Charlie walked to an ambulance after suffering an apparent panic attack. Charlie never returned home. A hero dad, he left behind a beloved 10-year-old daughter.
2. Martin Addison31:54Martin and wife Pamela had seven wonderful years together before he fell ill with Covid 19 while working as a speech and language pathologist in New Jersey in the United States. In this episode of Stolen Goodbyes, Pamela recounts how the couple met online and describes how inspiring Martin was as a husband, father and medical professional. Martin fell ill with a cough before being admitted to hospital where the initial feedback was very positive. However,his condition deteriorated, and the day he was supposed to get off the ventilator, he contracted an infection. He was just 44 when he died in April this year. Pamela relates how a nurse held his hand while Pamela spoke to him over the phone from home. The nurse told her that Martin squeezed her hand when Pamela told him she loved him. Pamela struggles with the sadness she feels about the fact their children, a two-year-old daughter and a five month old son, will never know their father. She also worries about their financial future now that Martin is gone.
3. John Langford36:06On this episode of Stolen Goodbyes, Karen speaks to Georgina Forsythe from Warwickshire who lost her fireman father John to Covid 19 on May 7 2020.John caught the virus while on a cruise to South America with his wife Linda where they were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. The couple went ahead with the trip at the beginning of March after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised that it was safe to do so.A cruel and inhumane set of circumstances ensued which saw Linda forced to leave her sick husband behind in a hospital in Miami while she caught a last flight back to the UK.John later died from the virus more than 4,000 miles from home. He was 63.
4. Kevin Morgans29:11In this episode of the Stolen Goodbyes podcast, Karen speaks to Linsey Simmonds in the Rhondda Valley in Wales who lost her father, Kevin Morgans, to COVID-19 on May 3 2020. He was 65.Linsey speaks with a beautiful fondness about her popular father who was due to move into a granddad flat at the back of her home where he looked forward to being woken up by his young grandson every morning.An anguished Linsey describes how the hospital spent a month saying her dad would be coming home with a care plan before suddenly deciding to move him onto a Covid ward because he was having seizures although he had not tested positive for Covid. There was next to no communication from the hospital for a month when Linsey learned her father had signed a Do Not Resuscitate form without her knowledge.Linsey believes her father ticked too many boxes to fight for in the eyes of the hospital.
5. Roy Weeks30:32In this episode of Stolen Goodbyes, Karen talks to Shelly Weeks from Somerset, who lost her husband Roy to COVID-19 on April 11 2020. He was 73 years old. She describes the devotion the couple shared through the years despite nae sayers claiming the age gap between them meant the romance was doomed to fail. Shelly is angry and dissatisfied at the standard of care her husband, who suffered from dementia, received in the care home where he was resident. Her pain was compounded by the fact that following Roy's death, the home sent her a report she says was “full of lies”. Shelly also received a bill for chiropody treatment, dated before he arrived at the home.Shelly is determined to get justice for Roy.
6. Susan Porter28:07On this episode of the Stolen Goodbyes podcast, Karen speaks to Neil Robinson from Durham who lost his ‘whirlwind’ partner Susan Porter to COVID-19 on May 1 2020. She was 58. Neil talks about some of the favourite memories he shared with Susan from as early as their teenager years to a chance encounter a decade later that resulted in them reuniting for 30 years. Neil struggles with emotion as he describes how Susan fell ill and was hospitalised with Covid 19. Her condition improved for a time before she took a turn for the worse. Neil’s voice breaks as he tells how Susan thought she was going to die and how they had to discuss her final wishes. Neil wanted to be with Susan at the end but a nurse held her hand as she passed. Neil watched through a hospital ward window as she slipped away. In their last conversation, Susan told Neil: "I love you, I’ll beat this and I’ll see you on the other side (of the illness)."
8. Trevor Gardiner33:01In this episode of Stolen Goodbyes, Karen talks to Sally Gardiner, who tragically lost her husband to COVID-19 in April 2020 just four months after their wedding. Trevor was 59. Sally describes their whirlwind romance, fairy tale wedding in Leeds castle and honeymoon to Venice. She tells how Trevor gave her so much happiness and a future she always dreamed of.Trevor, a diabetic, began feeling fatigue and nausea before being admitted to hospital where he was told that if he continued to improve, he would be home in two weeks. Sally watched Trevor's deterioration via WhatsApp video calls. When she was told he wouldn't make the night, Sally's world crashed.Even though Trevor was in a coma, he could hear his wife's voice, as his heart rate went up each time she spoke.Sally believes he knew he was dying because tears were rolling down his face.Sally is left emotionally broken following her loss and is angry at the government for not telling people to stay home from the beginning of March.
9. Violet Partington31:18In this episode of Stolen Goodbyes, Karen speaks with Michelle Rumble from Pinner who lost her mother Violet to COVID-19 on April 9 2020. Violet was 78. in this heart breaking episode of Stolen Goodbyes, Michelle recounts the shocking lack of care her selfless mother was subjected to after contracting Covid 19. Michelle describes how her teetotal, non smoker mother’s ultimate fear was dying.Hospital doctors told Violet her mother was comfortable and there would be no more news until the following afternoon but Violet died alone at 5am.Michelle says there are hardly any medical notes on her mother who she believes was left unchecked for long periods of time. The hospital put a Do Not Resuscitate in place for her mother without anyone's knowledge.Knowing her mum died on her own keeps Michelle awake at night. She wants justice for her mother.