Coronavirus in Scotland: 'Ryan was the last person I expected to die'

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image copyrightHilary Storrie

When Ryan Storrie started showing signs of coronavirus, he reassured his wife and two young children that he would be fine.

The 40-year-old, who lived in Dubai, was back home in Scotland to celebrate his 40th birthday with a trip to a Rangers match.

And even as his condition deteriorated and he was struggling to breathe, he insisted he did not need any further treatment.

Mr Storrie, who was asthmatic, died in his hotel room just 10 days after first showing symptoms.

His family wonder whether he would have survived if he had been taken to hospital for treatment, and have urged others not to take any chances with the virus.

"He kept saying he'd be fine, he'd get through it, he was just waiting for it to pass", his nephew Tony Bryson recalled.

"In hindsight, (Mr Storrie's wife) Hilary wishes she had phoned 999".

Mr Storrie, who was from Ardrossan, had contacted NHS 24 and was advised to self-isolate when he started showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Because they were staying in a hotel, Mr Storrie stayed in one room of the suite while the rest of the family lived in the other.

'I'll be all right'

His nephew said that Mr Storrie was "the last person" he expected to die because of coronavirus.

He added: "Ryan's mindset seemed to be that I'm 40, I'll be all right. It's a Scottish mentality I suppose.

"He didn't want to bother anybody, but he was hunched over, he couldn't stand up - and his lungs were too sore to breathe in."

His wife wanted to phone 999, but Mr Storrie told her he didn't want to bother anyone because there would be other people worse off than him.

Mrs Storrie later found her husband dead in his room.

The family feel that his death on 31 March was avoidable, and that if Mr Storrie had been in the care of the NHS he might still be here.

Mr Bryson said his uncle's death showed the coronavirus was "indiscriminate and it's killing a lot of people" regardless of age.

He added: "People should take this seriously - it's really important that people know when they need medical intervention and understand that it might not go away itself."

When do people need to go to hospital?

The main reason people with coronavirus need hospital treatment is when they have difficulty breathing.

Doctors may scan the lungs to see how badly they are affected and give support, such as oxygen or ventilation, if needed.

However, people should not go to A&E if they are concerned. In Scotland, the NHS 24 website will guide you through what to do.

If you are so breathless that you are unable to speak more than a few words you will be told to call 999, as this is a medical emergency.

If you become so ill that you've stopped doing all of your usual daily activities then NHS 24 will advise speaking to a nurse by dialling 111.

Patients should call NHS 24 on 111 if their symptoms:

  • have not improved after seven days
  • are severe or they have shortness of breath
  • worsen during home isolation

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