Coronavirus: 'Stay home - I don't want you to lose a loved one'

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image copyrightJodie Emmanuel
image captionJodie loved her kind and gentle grandfather William

If you are frustrated about not being allowed to go out in the sunny weather this Easter holiday, Jodie Emmanuel wants you to think of her grandfather.

He is one of the 4,934 people in the UK and 166 in Wales who have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

As governments instruct people to stay at home in a bid to limit the spread of Covid-19 and reduce your risk of catching or carrying it, those who have ignored the advice have been warned they are putting lives at risk.

And both the Welsh and UK governments have threatened tougher measures - like banning exercise outside - if people do not stay at home.

But Jodie wants you to think of people like her grandfather who died with the virus last week.

William Evans, a "larger than life" 67-year-old drummer in a band, was "fine" before he deteriorated "very suddenly" and died in hospital in Carmarthenshire.

"We couldn't see him or call him because he was very poorly so he couldn't answer," said Jodie.

image copyrightJodie Emmanuel
image captionWilliam "loved playing the drums" in the Willy Bear Band

"We never thought he would die from this and we never thought we'd lose him so young."

The trainee healthcare support worker now hopes people struggling with staying at home, self-isolating or social distancing will think they can help stop people like William dying.

"I would just say to save people's lives, you just have to stay in," Jodie pleaded.

"I was devastated at first when we couldn't go anywhere, having to stay in and not see my friends and go to the beach.

"But now it does make sense and it's the worst thing ever.

"I don't want anybody else to go through this. It shouldn't happen.

image copyrightJodie Emmanuel
image captionThe former carpenter was a big football fan and supported Swansea City

"We all need to realise by staying in we are helping other people. Maybe some of us have a good immune system and we're healthy and fit but other people are not so lucky."

Jodie said William, a former carpenter from Trimsaran near Llanelli, was a "kind, larger than life, amazing grandfather".

"He loved playing the drums, he loved his band and his friends," she said.

"He was very soft even though he was a big guy. He had so many skills and he always offered to help, he looked after us.

"He had a few health problems but nothing severe. He wasn't the fittest guy, even he'd admit that but he wasn't critically ill or someone we thought would die from it."

William was admitted to hospital after he "started with him coughing a lot - and it got worse."

"His condition was up and down for a while but then he died," said Jodie. "Everything happened so fast.

image copyrightJodie Emmanuel
image captionWilliam Evans was a popular member of the community in Trimsaran

"My mother made a decision to be with my grandmother, but I can't go home to my parents to see them or my brother. I can't see my grandmother or my aunt.

"It's awful not being together. Obviously with the job I'm going to do, I can't afford to be ill either."

William died at Llanelli's Prince Phillip Hospital and Jodie will see her family at his funeral later this month.

"Even then it's only going to be 10 people," she said.

"Only family members can be there. His friends can't come and he was really popular so that's hard for them.

"It's just not the funeral he deserves. But we understand, in the circumstances it has to be done."

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