The human cost of Covid-19

On Tuesday (26 January), the number of coronavirus deaths in the UK passed 100,000, just under a year on from when the first case rocked the country.

The Government said a further 1,631 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the total in the UK to 100,162.

The first known case of Covid-19 was discovered at a hotel in York on 29 January last year, followed by the first known victim of the virus who died in February, four weeks later.

ITV Calendar has taken a closer look at the human cost of the pandemic and some of the faces behind the figures.

  • Dr Nasir Khan

Dr Nasir Khan, died on April 28 after contracting Covid-19 at the age of 46.

He was working as a locum at Dewsbury and District Hospital in West Yorkshire and died in the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Dr Khan left behind his wife and three children. His son, Mahad Ali Khan, described him as a "beautiful" and "pure soul".

"He was the best father I could ask for. He was the best husband to my mother, the best son to my grandparents, the best uncle to all my cousins and the best friend to anyone and everyone he met."

"He knew the full risk of what he was going into and he didn't give it a second thought because he wanted to be in this profession.

"He wanted to be on the front line saving patients and because of that many lives have been saved."

Following his death, Martin Barkley, Chief Executive of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“In the six months he worked with us Dr Khan had become a very well-liked and valued member of the team with everyone, including nursing and junior doctor colleagues.

"They have spoken of his incredibly positive nature, his kindness and his compassion for his patients. He also showed fantastic leadership: he was absolutely dedicated to the well-being of the junior staff he was working with, and his thoughtfulness and considerate manner shone out to everyone who met him.

  • Kevin Chadwick

Kevin Chadwick, from Thurnscoe in South Yorkshire, died from coronavirus on 3 April 2020 at the age of 47.

He died just 24 hours after falling ill and being admitted to hospital. His widow Vicky Chadwick described her husband as being her "whole world".

"My life was better because he was in it. By Thursday he was just struggling to breathe and he said Vicky, I don't think I'm going to make it.

"Me thinking because he used to joke all the time, I was like stop being daft you are and then next thing an A&E nurse was on the phone to me saying, look your husband is really ill."

"I hate coronavirus. I hope the vaccine works, I just hope that life goes back to normal some time soon."

  • Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith, a plaster technician who worked at Doncaster Royal Infirmary for 37 years, died on 12 April. He became the town’s first NHS worker to die from the virus.

Kev, as he was known to friends, cared for thousands of patients throughout his career.

So well-known and thought of was the Doncaster resident that he was often stopped and thanked whenever he was out and about by those he had so expertly patched-up, potted and plastered.

Following the announcement of Kevin’s passing, thousands of colleagues across DBTH came together and clapped for him for one minute.

This was in addition to the countless messages left on Facebook, describing him at the town’s ‘very best pot man’ amongst other heartfelt tributes.

Following his death, Diane Smith, Kev’s wife, launched a Just Giving appeal in her husband’s honour, to raise money for much-needed wheelchairs at the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Diane said: "I got the phone call on the early morning of the 12th about one o'clock in the morning to say there was nothing else they could do, so they said if I'd like to go and say goodbye and that was it."

"It was surreal. It was the most surreal experience. I don't think even at that point, even though I knew he was going to die, I think I was still telling myself that I could get him to pull through."

  • Tina and Martyn Rodgers

Husband and wife of more than 25-years, Martyn and Tina Rodgers from Cottingley, Leeds, were both admitted to hospital in December 2020.

Martyn was taken to St James' Hospital in Leeds on December 19 after feeling unwell.

Just two days later, his wife Tina, who had Multiple Sclerosis, was also admitted to the hospital after falling ill with the virus. Both were aged 58.

Tina died on January 2, after spending Christmas and New Year in hospital. Martyn died just 12 days later on January 14.

Their son Craig Rodgers said: "On the Monday on the week of dad passing, they said okay there is nothing else we can do.

"So I had a conversation with Andy and I said I think we're doing the inevitable, so we started reducing the oxygen and then he sadly passed on the 14th. As you can tell it is hitting us both massively."

Andy, Tina and Martyn's other son, told ITV Calendar: "There was so much love for them. There is still so much love for them."

  • Sohail Sonowala

Sohail was a Humber pilot from Hull. He died on 2 October 2020.

His wife, Zahara said: "Anyone who knew him, that's the first thing they'll say about him, that he smiled and he was just caring and selfless.

"When this type of thing happens and all of a sudden it's he's just taken away, yeah, it's a shock to everybody in the system, everybody."

Zahara explained how Sohail died one month after first being admitted to hospital: "By day eight of his ten day quarantine he was already in hospital and the same day he was on the CPAP machines, so he went into the hospital on the second of September and he passed away on the second of October. Exactly one month."

She added: "That's my last memories of him, being on that ventilator, you know, and them trying their best to do whatever. There's no I love you's or you'll be ok, there's none of that. In every way, in every way, this is just ugly, it's ugly."

  • Julie Taylor-Broadbent

Julie, from Hull, was admitted to hospital with a burst ulcer a week before she passed away.

Her wife, Jayne, said: "1:26 in the afternoon on the first of December 2011, the moment I laid eyes on her my heart just melted.

"Julie was the most kind hearted, gorgeous, wonderful human being you could ever wish to meet, and I was so lucky to have met her and I was so lucky she agreed to marry me."

Julie passed away in her wife's arms on 1 December. Jayne explains: "She was laid on the bed, I as laid on the bed with her with my arms around her, and the nurse went behind her and very gently unfastened her mask, and removed it and it was less than two minutes Julie had passed in my arms."