Whole family spent Christmas in hospital but their 25-year-old daughter didn't survive
A whole family spent Christmas in hospital with coronavirus but their daughter, 25, didn't survive.
The family-of-three from Tonypandy in the Rhondda all tested positive for Covid-19 in December last year.Their 25-year-old daughter, Lauren Jones, died five days after Christmas.
She is now one of the youngest people in Wales to die from the virus.Her father, Paul, said: "It's devastating, heartbreaking and shocking because it all happened so quickly. "We haven't heard of anyone younger dying with Covid - it's certainly not a statistic I wanted to be.
"We have lost our only child and the love of our lives. She should be sitting in the living room with us planning what she wants to do after we come out of this pandemic."
Her parents, Paul and Karen were the first in the family to catch the virus."Lauren had been self-isolating with us," he continued."Me and my wife had it at the same time. At first Lauren tested negative but then tested positive a week later."I was probably the worst in the house. I felt really ill. On Sunday, December 20, four days after testing positive, I ended up in the hospital on a drip.
"It was a case of Lauren looking after us - she'd drive me back and forward to the hospital.
"Then, on December 22, she drove my wife down there. Probably at the time, Lauren was the best of us. It must have taken such a hold of her."
Lauren told her parents after Christmas that she wanted to go to the local hospital "just to get checked out".Paul dropped her off at the entrance of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant."Even Lauren didn't realise how ill she was," he said."She only wanted to be checked out - she thought she'd be a few hours and then she'd be home and that's what we all thought.
"I even said I'd wait outside for a couple of hours and go home if she was going to beany longer, which is what I did."After that, I got a text message saying she was staying in and we had a short phone call on Monday. That was the last time we spoke to her.
"In just a matter of hours, she deteriorated. By Tuesday night they told us she wouldn't last the night.
"The way it happened, it just ripped a hole in our life."
Lauren, who worked for the NHS, died at 2.45am on December 30 with her parents at her bedside.Her father said that she was days away from receiving the vaccine as a frontline worker."It was absolutely devastating, there's no word for it," he added."My whole world sank through me. She never really had a chance to fight the virus because it happened so quickly."The soul has just been ripped out of this house. We're just an ordinary family who all work hard and just get on with life. We've never done anything against anyone."We followed the guidelines all the way through. I'm a police officer myself so I've been enforcing the guidelines as well as following them.
"I can't believe there are some who believe this virus doesn't exist. I just can't believe it that people still think it's a joke."
Lauren was well known and loved in her local community - she worked as an administrator at the GP surgery in Tonypandy where her mother also worked."We are trying to remember the good times with Lauren, of which we've had so many," said Paul."She was the soul of this house and now she's gone. She was so well known in the community and everywhere she went she had a smile on her face."The support we've had from family and friends, neighbours has beenoverwhelming - everybody has been touched by what happened to Lauren."Paul and Karen want to share Lauren's story to act as a warning to others."After all the tragedy families like ours have gone through we want to get that message across, to maybe help save lives.
"People seeing and hearing our stories might help people sit up and listen."It's very sad, tragic, there's no other words I can say. It's shocked us through to the core.
"I can't picture life without her. I still feel she's here with us. It's hard to imagine the future without her."