Son pays tribute to 'selfless' paramedic who died after catching coronavirus

The son of a selfless paramedic who lost his life after he was diagnosed with coronavirus has paid tribute to his “humble” father.

Gerallt Davies, an MBE recipient for his service to the NHS, was admitted to an intensive care unit last week.

After the 51-year-old’s condition began to deteriorate on Sunday, his son Johnny was called on Monday with the news his family had dreaded.

Speaking to ITV News, he said his father was so passionate about helping people that he carried on working despite knowing the risks of catching the virus himself.

“Being a frontline worker, he was very well aware of the risks and you wouldn’t have stopped him from doing it, that’s why he had a real passion to help people,” he said.

“It’s definitely through work that he has it, but that’s the risk himself and a lot of other people are taking daily to help others.”

Tributes have been paid by his colleagues and from those who he saved during his time with the Welsh Ambulance Service.

“All the support is heart-warming but it’s never going to make up for what we’ve lost… I can’t put it into words, I’m still expecting him to give us a call and check up on how we are,” he said.

He added his father was always too humble to talk about his heroic service, recalling the time he gave up a free upgrade on a plane back from America to a passenger taken ill.

One of those to pay tribute to Gerallt was Dahni Burns, whose baby son Emerson stopped breathing on New Year’s Day.

“He was the first on the scene and I can’t thank him enough because he dealt with everything so brilliantly, he didn’t just see to my son but he had seen to me as well, (I) obviously was frantic,” she said in a video she recorded.

“What a genuinely kind, caring man and if it weren’t for him he’d still be very poorly.

“I just want to say thank you so much and I’m thinking of you all at this really hard time and if there’s anything I can do please just let me know.”

Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, Jason Killens, described Mr Davies' death as "a devastating blow for us all”.

In a statement, Mr Killens said: “Gerallt Davies MBE was a paramedic at Cwmbwrla Station in Swansea and his passing is a devastating blow for us all.

"Gerallt, who joined the service in 1994, was not just a valued member of our team but of St John Cymru Wales, where he was National Operations Officer, a role for which he was awarded an MBE in 2019 for his services to first aid provision in Wales.

"Gerallt’s loss will be sorely felt by everyone here at Team WAST, and we extend our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to his family.

"Our focus now is on supporting Gerallt’s family and bereaved colleagues at this very difficult time.”