Cornwall

Coronavirus: Widow's warning as 'family man' dies

Viv and Phil Champion
Image caption Viv Champion remembers her "fun-loving" husband who died on 21 March after feeling unwell at the start of the month

The wife of a man who died from coronavirus says it is "unbelievable" some people were ignoring government advice on social distancing.

Viv Champion, from St Blazey, Cornwall, said husband Phil, 68, had not been in perfect health, but was fit and active.

"He was a family man who we never thought would be a victim of this terrible illness," she said.

"We would not want another family to go through what we have done, so follow the government's advice."

Image caption Mr Champion was "always laughing, very happy, very kind, he was a proud Cornishman" said his wife

Photos emerged showing crowds of people visiting open spaces at the weekend.

Mrs Champion, who has not had any symptoms of coronavirus, said: "My message is 'Protect everybody else.'

"Give everybody a bit of space and don't feel offended if people walk the other side of the street from you."

It is "unbelievable that there are still people who are not distancing themselves," she added.

Mr Champion, who worked part-time as a builders' merchant, started feeling unwell on 1 March and died at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro on 21 March.

"He felt very shivery and had a bit of a cough," she said.

"The next morning he had a bit of an upset tummy.

"We followed all the advice over the next few days, the doctor came to see him and he was admitted to hospital on 11 March."

Image caption Phil Champion: How he contracted the virus is a mystery

On 13 March Mr Champion was diagnosed with coronavirus and the day before he died he was put on a ventilator

"Sadly that was the last time anyone was able to speak to him," Mrs Champion said.

"Despite the massive efforts of the hospital they were not able to save him."

She remembers the "fun-loving" former fireman who was a member of the Fowey town band.

How he contracted the virus was a mystery, Mrs Champion said.

"The supermarket? The pub? We just don't know."

"He could have contracted it anywhere."

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