A man from Co Antrim who died after contracting Covid-19 just days after his wife shared an emotional plea to take the virus seriously has been described as a “friendly and caring gentleman”.
lan Henry from Ballymena passed away at Antrim Area Hospital on Wednesday after being admitted to the intensive care unit.
He is survived by his wife Noeleen, three children, and four grandchildren.
Mr Henry was a former member of Antrim Area Hospital’s rapid response before joining the dementia team.
A death notice said Mr Henry will be “very sadly missed by his loving wife, family and many friends”.
Mr Henry’s wife, who has been working as a nurse in the ICU where her husband died, explained that they both contracted Covid-19 in December despite taking extra care.
“Bar a loss of taste and smell, I’m fine but my hubby – the happy go lucky, silly ejit of a man that he is – is on life support in ICU,” she wrote last week. “What makes things even worse is I am a staff nurse working there in the same unit having been redeployed back there since March.”
She added that after reading social media posts in which people complained about the effect of lockdowns, Mrs Henry asked “are these excuses really worth a life?”
“The economy will recover, the kids will catch up on their education and you will all be let out of lockdown but at the minute I don’t know how long I will have my husband for, my three children will have a father for or my four grandchildren will have a grandad for,” Mrs Henry added.
“Please for everyone’s sake, this Covid is real. For myself the symptoms are minor but my hubby is not so lucky, please be vigilant and don’t take any chances.
“Please pray for Alan. He thinks I’m the strong one but I’ve never told him it’s actually the other way round. We would be lost without him.”
Unison’s Northern Health Branch said it was “devastated” to hear of the passing of their friend, colleague and member.
Chairperson of the branch Stephanie Greenwood stated: “The branch officers, stewards, members of Unison Northern Health Branch and Unison regional office extended their deepest sympathies to Alan’s family, friends and colleagues.
“We would like to reiterate Noeleen’s plea to all of our members to take the Covid crisis seriously, to stay safe and look after each other. We offer any help or support the family need at this awful time.”
Due to the current health and safety regulations, Mr Henry’s funeral will be private.
The funeral cortege will travel from James Henry Funeral Services in Ballymena at 12.30pm on Saturday before burial at Ballee Cemetery. Friends have been invited to pay their respects along the route.
Donations in lieu, if desired, can be made out to the Northern Trust via James Henry Funeral Services.