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Tributes paid to elderly Tyrone couple who died with Covid-19 just hours apart

Owen and Bredge Ward died in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry on Tuesday.

The couple passed away in Altnagelvin Hospital this week
The couple passed away in Altnagelvin Hospital this week
Image: PA

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to a Co Tyrone couple who both died with Covid-19 just 12 hours apart.

Owen and Bredge Ward, both aged 69, died in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry today.

The couple, who were from Strabane, had been married for 48 years and had six children and nine grandchildren.

Their son Martin said he held his father’s hand as he died, while his siblings were at the funeral home with his mother.

“This is what the disease does – it can be mild or it can devastate lives,” he told BBC Northern Ireland.

“Within hours, my mum, who was improving, just went downhill. Maybe it was the shock. Fast forward a week and my father was improving and my mother was getting worse.

“She passed away yesterday, then my father, from a position where he was getting better, just completely collapsed and within a couple of hours of my mother dying, he passed away too.”

Martin Ward, who works as a nurse in Galway, added that despite pain relief and care from hospital staff, said his parents “completely collapsed” within a couple of hours.

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“That’s just how it is. That’s the hurt and suffering that this caused to different families and the same message that we need to get across is just look after people, adhere to the guidelines and care about other people,” he said.

His family have called on the public to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions to prevent the further spread of the virus.

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