The daughter of a woman who died this week from coronavirus and whose father is seriously ill in hospital with the virus said the family's grief and heartache is being compounded by Covid deniers.
Patricia Page had the unenviable task on Sunday of telling her father Charlie (78) at his bedside in Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital, that his beloved wife, Eileen (73), of 53 years had passed away in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the same hospital.
Two days later, Mr Page's condition deteriorated so badly, he too was transferred to the same unit where he remains.
From his bed, he has made an impassioned plea for people to take the virus seriously and to do everything necessary to stay safe and to protect others.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Patricia Page, from Derry, echoed her father's words and implored people who deny the virus is real or harmful to think about their message.
She said: "It makes me so angry and I get angrier every day when I see and hear people trying to suggest Covid is a hoax or it's no worse than a cold or flu.
"Our family is proof of how deadly this virus is, our mother isn't here any more and our father is in Intensive Care in Altnagelvin seriously ill.
"If they could see the hospital wards full of people fighting to breathe and the pressure the staff are working under, they would change their tune.
"The hundreds and hundreds of messages of support, promises of prayers and good wishes we have received have been such a comfort.
"But when you read posts from people who say this is a hoax, it just compounds our pain and adds to our grief.
"The one thing daddy wants people reading this to know is how real coronavirus is and how important it is that it is taken seriously.
"He said people need to do everything they are told to stay safe themselves and to protect other people, for their sake but for the sake of the hospital staff too. They have been everything to us."
Patricia added: "We couldn't be with my mother when she died but they took our place, held mammy's hand and comforted her as she took her last breath."
A few days after the couple tested positive, their condition had deteriorated so much both were admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital - Mr Page first, followed by Eileen two days later.
Patricia said: "It was terrible because mammy's heart was breaking looking at daddy and as he was being put in the ambulance, his last words to her were, 'You just concentrate on getting better and I'll see you soon.'
"Two days later my sister phoned me and told me to get to my parents' house as fast as I could because mammy was so ill.
"Mammy had made me promise that I wouldn't allow her to go to hospital because she was so worried that she wouldn't get out again, but I will never forget the sight of her when I reached the house that day until the day God calls me.
"She was lying on her side, absolutely struggling for breath. It was horrible. I knelt on the floor beside her and said, 'mammy we have no choice, we have to send you to hospital' and she understood."
That was the last time, Patricia or any of her siblings saw their mother alive but thanks to the efforts of the hospital staff, the family were given twice daily updates.
Ms Page said: "As a family we want it on record how much we appreciate and will forever be grateful to the staff at the hospital who were amazing, and who as soon as they realised mammy wasn't going to survive brought daddy from his ward into the unit so he could be with her.
"When mammy passed away, I had to go over to the hospital and break the news to daddy, who at that time was doing much better than he had been.
"As I went in the door of his ward, his face lit up but he couldn't understand how I had been allowed in.
"I told him, 'daddy, mammy is in Heaven.'
"He just put his head into his two hands and shouted, 'No, no'. I couldn't even hug him and the following day as we were making funeral arrangements for mammy, we got the news that daddy was being moved into intensive care. I left him then to begin funeral arrangements for mammy and we gave her the best send off we could under these circumstances.
"Daddy is a broken man. I can't imagine the torment he is going through because him and mammy were just so devoted to each other, they laughed and they loved and lived for each other.
"My sister sprayed mammy's perfume on one of her scarves and left it along with a big photograph of the two of them at the hospital and he has those with him. As mammy was getting buried he held her scarf and the nurses arranged for him to watch the funeral and the burial on her phone," Patricia added.
"This is a nightmare I wouldn't want anyone to go though but this virus isn't going to go away unless people stick to the rules."