Covid: 'I lost both parents in two weeks'

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image copyrightClaire Apsey
image captionRay and Rosemary Scovell grew up in the same street and were well known on the Isle of Wight

A woman has described the "horrific" anguish of losing both parents to Covid, just two weeks apart.

Ray and Rosemary Scovell, from Sandown on the Isle of Wight, had been looking forward to their golden wedding anniversary when Ray, 76, fell ill.

Their daughter Claire Apsey and grandson, Simon, said their grief had been compounded by lockdown.

Mrs Apsey said she also felt "guilty" for being unable to give them the send-off they deserved.

The couple grew up in the same street and were well known on the island after a lifetime dedicated to helping others.

Mr Scovell, who was a hammer coach at Isle of Wight Athletics Club, set up numerous sports initiatives for schools and was responsible for bringing events, such as Parkrun, to the island.

His 73-year-old wife supported his work, which included organising medals.

image copyrightClaire Apsey
image captionSimon Apsey's grandparents were described as community-minded and always thinking of others

Mrs Apsey said that throughout lockdown her father continued to encourage children to go running and sent out certificates to keep them motivated.

He would also do errands for elderly neighbours, leaving shopping in their porches.

"They always wanted to do the best for people," she said. "Always thinking of helping others."

image copyrightClaire Apsey
image captionThe couple had been looking forward to celebrating their golden wedding anniversary this year

In recent times, Mrs Scovell suffered from short-term memory loss so, on 8 January, when Mr Scovell was admitted to hospital, Mrs Apsey and Simon, 14, moved in to care for her.

"While Dad was in hospital, we were having to explain it to her, which is hard because she kept forgetting, and when Dad died she would forget so we would have to explain again," Mrs Apsey said, adding: "She was heartbroken."

Although she was allowed to be with her father when he died, Mrs Apsey said she was "gowned up" and had to wear a face shield.

"It wasn't the ending we wanted," she said.

image copyrightClaire Apsey
image captionClaire and Simon Apsey said their grief had been compounded by lockdown and isolation

A little over a week after losing her husband, Mrs Scovell ended up in hospital after a fall.

X-rays revealed she had inflammation on her lungs and she tested positive for Covid-19. She died five days later.

Mrs Apsey said: "She went very quickly. She had a pulmonary embolism."

She added: "It's been horrific really... The hardest thing is not being able to share the grief."

image copyrightClaire Apsey
image captionMr and Mrs Scovell helped thousands of young people through sport

The funeral arrangements and contact with the solicitor, which had to be done via email, had also been "so clinical", Mrs Apsey said.

"When we had my dad's funeral, I felt so guilty there were only 30 people there," she added.

"It felt so wrong because my dad was so well known. We were inundated with cards and flowers."

She added they had both received "the most wonderful care" at St Mary's Hospital, which had given her and Simon "great comfort".

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