Family of UK's youngest coronavirus victim 'truly heartbroken' at his death

The family of the youngest Briton to die from coronavirus to date have said they are "heartbroken" at his passing.

Craig Ruston, 45, died in the early hours of Tuesday morning after contracting the Covid-19 virus. He had previously been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

In an emotional statement, his family praised the "wonderfully kind and caring person he was".

Posting on a Facebook page set up to follow his life with Motor Neurone Disease, his partner Sally about told of his love of the world, saying Mr Ruston was "one of the most intelligent people I know that would absorb information and could somehow explain just about anything".

Covid-19 has so far claimed the lives of 60 people, Public Health England said on Tuesday. On the same day, the government conceded 20,000 Britons could die from the respiratory disease.

The touching family statement opened with: "My amazing Craig passed away yesterday morning at 6.20am. We are truly heartbroken.

"To those of you that knew Craig, before his MND diagnosis, after his diagnosis and to all that follow this his blog, I’m sure you knew or could tell what a wonderfully kind and caring person he was. He welcomed everyone. There were no airs and graces with Craig. He loved the world. He absorbed the world.

"He was one of the most intelligent people I know that would absorb information and could somehow explain just about anything. Science was his thing, amongst others. He could explain anything in this field. History, you’d often find him watching a war documentary. Nature, Sir David Attenborough his all time hero."

Mr Ruston is believed to be the youngest victim of Covid-19 in the UK so far. Credit: Facebook

The tribute added how he was not ready to give up his battle with MND, despite a diagnosis in summer 2018 giving him a limited time to live.

"He was given roughly two years to live. He was pushing that back. We were facing mobility challenges and we’ve been waiting for a few bits of kit and a few house changes to address him getting a bit more socially active again as this had become a huge undertaking," the family announcement said.

"Craig was not ready to go. Still doing everything in his power to raise awareness and fight the fight for MND.

"Last Tuesday he was taken unwell and we have since spent the last six days in isolation. Craig’s chest infection was confirmed as Covid-19. How dare that take Craig who was already facing this, the most vile and evil of diseases.

"Craig’s wish upon death was to give his brain to the Oxford Brain Bank. It was to be used specifically for MND research and Craig was so keen to do this. He’d give anything in the name of research. Sadly this can no longer happen. How dare this virus take this from Craig."

Mr Ruston was a fan of Star Wars, posing with a model of one of the space craft. Credit: Facebook

One of Mr Ruston's last pieces of writing before his death will hopefully be released once his specially adapted equipment, which allowed him to write using eyesight, is released from quarantine, the post said.

"He spent hours and hours writing a post a couple of weeks ago. In fact he wrote it twice and both times accidentally glanced at the clear all button and lost hours and hours of work. And I mean hours, he’d been sat writing one post on his eye gaze for over five hours!! Lost. And now I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to share his last words. They are currently quarantined somewhere on his amazing bit of kit. If I can find it I’ll share it."

Mr Ruston had been diagnosed with MND two years ago. Credit: Facebook

The tribute ended with a touching message: "To those whose paths have crossed with Craig, know that he loved you all dearly. That was Craig. And he got so much support and help from writing this blog."

The post was signed off with a final message from his family: "My amazing Craig, I love you forever and ever, from your amazing Sally and your amazing girls."

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know

The UK government has advised people to stay home to further prevent the spread of Covid-19. Britons have been advised to avoid social interactions, along with places where crowds normally gather.

The prime minister and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday they would do "whatever it takes" to help the UK economy through the pandemic.