A teenager from Londonderry who died suddenly after ‘he had recovered’ from Covid-19 was a “beautiful son”, his father has said.
aron Doherty (17), from the Creggan area, died on Tuesday, October 27..
His family told the Derry News he had contracted Covid last month but he ‘had beaten it’ after he tested negative last week.
He passed away at Altnagelvin hospital after developing breathing difficulties at home.
Separately, a health worker who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 died at the weekend.
The news emerged as nine local deaths were announced on Wednesday. A further 840 cases of the virus have been confirmed.
On Wednesday night local hospitals were operating beyond capacity as they struggled to deal with a surge in patients.
Some 2,979 beds were occupied — 76 over the 2,903 capacity. A further 221 patients were waiting to be admitted. Of the patients in hospitals, some 352 have tested positive for Covid-19, with 44 in intensive care.
The figures were released as tributes were paid to Mr Doherty.
It is understood the teenager was scheduled for admission to Altnagelvin this week for an operation for an underlying medical condition which he had been waiting four years for.
While he was still at home, he developed breathing difficulties and an ambulance was called.
Despite efforts by ambulance staff to stabilise the teenager, he passed away.
Mr Doherty was well-known and popular amongst Derry’s football fraternity, and news of his tragic passing was met with widespread shock and sadness.
In a poignant Facebook post, the victim’s father Jim wrote: “My beautiful son. Rest in peace. Love you.”
Among those offering condolences to Jim, Aaron’s mother Susan and siblings Samantha and Ryan were Ballymoor Football Club, where Mr Doherty was a former player, Swilly Rovers FC, Top of the Hill Celtic and Sion Swifts FC.
Local councillor Eamonn McCann said the people of the area and throughout Derry would have the family in their hearts.
“This is such terrible, terrible news and my heart goes out to the whole family,” he added.
“I have no idea of the pain the family are going through… but I hope that they will be aware that they are all surrounded by the love of everybody in Derry.
“This tragedy comes as a terrible warning to us all, myself included, that we must take this virus seriously. We cannot assume that anybody is immune.
“This teaches us that we cannot take anything in life for granted and can certainly take nothing for granted with Covid.”
Mr Doherty’s funeral, which will take place at 11am on Friday at St Columba’s Church, Long Tower, is restricted to his immediate family only.
Separately, a health worker who had been diagnosed with Covid has also passed away.
The victim was a member of the Unison union. No further details about the death have been released.
Health Minister Robin Swann warned on Wednesday that there was “no such thing as invincibility” to Covid-19.
“It has been clear in our messaging that age isn’t solely a factor,” he added.
“It can affect anyone at any age and unfortunately we have seen that in a number of cases involving under 30 and 40-year-olds.
Chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said: “This is a new virus and we know that it has a worst impact on older people and those with underlying health conditions, but that is not always the case.
“I would urge everyone to be very guarded in terms of assuming that this is just another cold or flu virus. It is not.”