A mum has spoken of her heartbreak after a North Wales man said to be the first Brit to catch coronavirus died at his university halls of residence.
Connor Reed, 26, was pronounced dead at his Bangor University flat on Sunday, October 25, despite the best efforts of friends and paramedics to save him.
Mr Reed, from Llandudno, hit the headlines in February after he was said to be the first Brit to catch coronavirus when he was diagnosed in December last year.
He had been working at a college in Wuhan in China when he caught the virus.
His mum Hayley, who lives in Australia, has now confirmed that Mr Reed had returned to the UK from China and was undertaking a degree in Chinese language at Bangor University when tragedy struck.
She said in a post on Facebook that he had died following a “tragic accident”.
Speaking to the Sun, she said her son had “endured a lot of hardship in China” after catching the virus before having to endure a strict lockdown.
She said: “To say Connor had a sense of adventure was an understatement.
“When he told us he was going to learn Chinese we didn’t really believe him but he knuckled down and went on his own to China and in a few years was speaking fluent Mandarin.
“Over the last six months he endured a lot of hardship in China contracting Covid and having over 20 weeks lockdown under strict conditions.”
She added: “He endured more lockdown than anyone we have even known – 16 weeks harsh lockdown in Wuhan, two weeks in Australia and a further three weeks in the UK.
“We are both broken hearted that his adventures came to an end at Bangor University where he was studying for a degree in Chinese language with what looks like a tragic accident.
“We will never know where his ambition and drive would have taken him.
“We would like to give Connor the funeral he deserves in the UK and also Australia.
“We will not be able to attend his funeral in the UK due to the coronavirus restriction.
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“Therefore we will make sure we all celebrate his life at his home in Australia.”
Following Mr Reed’s death, North Wales Police said: “Shortly after 10pm on Sunday 25th of October, North Wales Police were requested by the ambulance service to attend at a student’s room at a Bangor University halls of residence.
“Regrettably, despite the best efforts of friends and paramedics, a 26-year-old male student was pronounced dead at the location.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious and the coroner for North West Wales, Mr Dewi Pritchard Jones has been informed.”
A Bangor University spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the student’s family and friends at this very sad time.
“Student wellbeing is a university priority and we are offering support to others in halls and at the university who knew the student.”
Speaking to North Wales Live earlier this year about his experience of catching coronavirus, the former pupil of Ysgol Bro Gwydir in Llanrwst said: “The cough turned into pneumonia-type thing, and I ended up in hospital as my breathing was as if I was breathing into a paper bag.”
And after lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, he said: “I feel happy and grateful. I also feel a sense of accomplishment, as I have indirectly helped the health of the city by staying home and following the quarantine. I have been part of the healing.
“The Chinese people are so strong together and work cohesively as a whole.
“One of the first things I did when I was allowed outside was pick up a packet of my favourite noodles.”
-- to www.dailypost.co.uk