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Coronavirus: Family comforted by health staff support and farmers' roadside tribute to Tyrone man

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Farmers in Co Tyrone lined the road to pay their final respects to David Montgomery

Farmers in Co Tyrone lined the road to pay their final respects to David Montgomery

Farmers in Co Tyrone lined the road to pay their final respects to David Montgomery

A farming community paid a special tribute this week to a well-known Co Tyrone man who died from coronavirus.

David Montgomery, from Dromore, passed away last Saturday after two weeks on a ventilator.

On Monday local farmers parked their tractors along Galbally Road and stepped out to pay their respects as the hearse carrying the 55-year-old made its way to the graveyard at Togherdoo Methodist Church near Trillick.

The kindness of the staff at South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen and those paying their respects, was of comfort to the family, who now mourn the death of "a great brother" taken by an invisible killer.

After displaying symptoms linked to coronavirus, Mr Montgomery had been advised to follow government guidance and self-isolate at home.

His sister Liz said: "David was a farmer living on his own and was following doctor's guidelines to take paracetamol and self-isolate. He probably had a measure of anxiety when he started to feel so unwell."

Mr Montgomery phoned Liz and his two other sisters Anne and Helen before he was placed on the ventilator on the Saturday afternoon, telling them that it would probably "be for a day or two".

"But our gut feeling was that it wouldn't be a day or two. That was the last conversation we had with him," said Liz.

"That has been one of the hardest things, not being able to be with him. We really appreciated being able to ask the nurse caring for him to let him know he was so much in our thoughts and prayers."

His minister, Rev Eleanor Hayden, phoned the ward and asked one of the nurses to kindly read Psalm 23 and say the Lord's Prayer to him.

"We are blown away by the kindness of staff and the willingness of them to do this for us," Liz added.

It was a tempestuous fortnight for Mr Montgomery's family who faced the uncertainty of not knowing if he would pull through or not in between the odd glimmer of hope.

Liz added: "David was a Christian and his faith in Jesus was very important to him.

"David enjoyed attending his local church and going along to other Christian fellowship gatherings. He had a large circle of friends and could definitely be described as a people person. His quick wit and humour were enjoyed by his nieces and nephews who thought the world of him."

Liz explained how a doctor had phoned her sister before he died and assured her staff would be with him.

"The doctors and nurses handled the situation so professionally and were exceptional in their care and treatment of David," she said.

"We are thankful to all the nursing and medical staff in the critical care unit and know they did all they could for David and they too were upset his condition did not improve."

"We really appreciated how David's neighbours, friends and farming colleagues stood on the roadside to pay their respects at this difficult time. It was very touching and lovely to witness this care for our family."

Belfast Telegraph