A man whose father died from Covid-19 and whose mother is seriously ill in hospital says they lived a ‘quiet life’ – and he wants to warn the public that the virus can attack ‘literally anybody’.

Mick Boyles, aged 78, from Liskeard in Cornwall, died earlier this week after being admitted to Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital alongside his wife, 80-year-old Ruth.

Mick had an existing heart condition and diabetes, but Ruth is not believed to have any underlying conditions.

Their son, Simon Boyles, told ITV West Country his parents rarely went out but the virus caused a sudden deterioration in their health.

They lived a fairly quiet life. If they did go out they probably went to the supermarket once a week, they didn’t go out pubbing or anything like that. So for them to have caught it is a lesson for other people. It’s not just in big cities, it can happen to literally anyone and when it does it can be incredibly quick. They went in to hospital on the Friday and by Sunday he was gone.

Simon Boyles

Read more: How the ban on visiting hospital patients is taking its toll on families

Mick and Ruth were long-time members of the Sterts theatre group and hundreds of messages have been left online from friends and well-wishers.

Simon says the family’s grief is heightened by the fact they are unable to visit their mother in hospital, and he says he has not yet spoken to her about his father’s death.

Mick Boyles died at the age of 78. Credit: Simon Boyles

We just have to hope that she is ok on her own. It’s such a horrible time to be on your own. She is not up to talking on the phone, that just feels horrible that we can’t even speak to her. When she went in she was so short of breath she could not even tell me what was wrong, she couldn’t even get enough breath to speak. She was with dad when he died, so at least they were together on the ward at the very end.

Simon Boyles
Mick and Ruth pictured performing on stage. Credit: Sterts Theatre

Mick and Ruth have been Sterts stalwarts for many years. Apart from performing, Mick was a trustee for a number of years, a maintenance man, licensee for the bar and frequent willing volunteer. And this was after he had retired following a long career as a local dentist.

Sterts Theatre