Family of father who became UK's youngest coronavirus death 'truly heartbroken'

18 March 2020, 09:37

Craig Ruston died on Monday, making him the UK's youngest coronavirus victim
Craig Ruston died on Monday, making him the UK's youngest coronavirus victim. Picture: Facebook

By Megan White

The family of a 45-year-old father who died after being diagnosed with coronavirus have said they are "truly heartbroken".

Craig Ruston became the UK’s youngest Covid-19 victim when he passed away early on Monday morning following a chest infection.

His family said that Mr Ruston, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in June 2018, was "not ready to go".

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The virus has claimed 71 lives in the UK, with the number of cases also rising 26 per cent in a single day, making the current total 1,950.

In a post on Mr Ruston’s Facebook page, signed by his wife Sally and his "amazing girls", the family wrote: "My Amazing Craig passed away yesterday morning at 6.20am.

"We are truly heartbroken. His fight with MND was not ready to be over.

"At diagnosis in June 2018 he was given roughly two years to live. He was pushing that back. Craig was not ready to go."

His family said that Mr Ruston was taken ill on Tuesday last week, and spent six days in isolation.

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They added: "How dare that take Craig who was already facing this, the most vile and evil of diseases.

"Craig's wish upon death was to give his brain to the Oxford Brain Bank. It was to be used specifically for MND research and Craig was so keen to do this.

"He'd give anything in the name of research. Sadly this can no longer happen. How dare this virus take this from Craig."

His family said that Mr Ruston was a "wonderfully kind and caring" person who welcomed everyone.

They said he was still doing "everything in his power" to raise awareness and fight against MND.

They added: "To those of you that knew Craig, before his MND diagnosis, after his diagnosis and to all that follow this his blog, I'm sure you knew or could tell what a wonderfully kind and caring person he was.

"He welcomed everyone. There were no airs and graces with Craig.

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"He loved the world. He absorbed the world. He was one of the most intelligent people I know that would absorb information and could somehow explain just about anything."

On Tuesday, the UK's chief scientific adviser has said it is a "reasonable ballpark" to assume around 55,000 people in the country have Covid-19.

Sir Patrick Vallance made the comment as he answered questions from a government health committee on Tuesday, and predicted that effects of recent measures imposed by the government would be seen in the coming weeks.

These measures could reduce the number of deaths to 20,000 from the 250,000 predicted in an earlier report by Imperial College London.

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