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Heartbroken daughter who lost BOTH her elderly parents to coronavirus just 12 hours apart begs the public to follow social distancing advice

Heartbroken daughter who lost BOTH her elderly parents to coronavirus just 12 hours apart begs the public to follow social distancing advice
  • Christopher Vallely, 79, and his wife Isobel, 77, died within 12 hours of each other
  • The Belfast couple, who had been married 53 years, died at the Mater Hospital 
  • Their daughter Fiona: 'Do everything you can to protect yourself and your family' 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
A heartbroken daughter is pleading for the public to protect themselves from the coronavirus pandemic by self-isolating after her mother and father died within 12 hours of each other.
Christopher Vallely, 79, and his wife Isobel, 77, both died at the Mater Hospital in Belfast over the weekend.
Fiona Vallely, a daughter of the couple had been married for 53 years, has a warning for the public after the death of her 'young at heart' parents: 'Please, please, please everybody, please follow the public guidelines, do everything you can to protect yourself and your families because this is only going to get worse,' she told the BBC.
Christopher Vallely (79) , who was known as Arty, and his wife Isobel (77), died within 12 hours of each other in the same room at the Mater Hospital in Belfast at the weekend
Christopher Vallely (79) , who was known as Arty, and his wife Isobel (77), died within 12 hours of each other in the same room at the Mater Hospital in Belfast at the weekend
Mr Vallely, who had been suffering from lung cancer, was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast more than a week ago, and tested postive for Covid-19 before being transferred to the Mater, a now specialist hospital for coronavirus. 
His wife was taken to the Mater on Thursday, and died on Saturday. Her husband died in the same room that she had, just hours later. She had suffered a stroke six months ago.
Their daughter said the sudden loss of her parents had left her family in shock.
She added: 'They both had underlying health issues, my dad was never going to fight terminal cancer, but my mum fought back, from six months ago, a stroke and all her other illnesses, but this, they both couldn’t fight this illness, so that shows how this is a very, very serious illness,' she said.
Ms Vallely said she was able to say goodbye to both her parents.
'I was very, very grateful (to the staff) that they let us do that under the circumstances, and we had to wear the protective gear and everything, because I know a lot of families haven’t had that chance,' she said.
'We would like to think they were conscious and could hear us.”
Ms Vallely paid tribute to the staff at the hospital and said they were doing an 'amazing job and putting their lives at risk'.
'This is why everyone has to take this seriously,' she said.
With restrictions in place around funerals, Ms Vallely says her family will be unable to give their parents the planned send-off.
The Mater in Belfast, space has been set aside at the hospital in the north of the city to treat coronavirus patients from Northern Ireland
The Mater in Belfast, space has been set aside at the hospital in the north of the city to treat coronavirus patients from Northern Ireland
'This is what has broken me and my brothers and all of my family’s hearts, because we’re not going to give them the proper send-off that they both absolutely deserve,' she said.
'My dad is getting cremated because that was his wish, and my mum’s wishes were to be buried.
'It’ll be two separate, and it’s going to be hard. We were hoping to have a lovely church service for mum with all of her friends and family. And for my dad we were going to have a big party because he had such a zest for life.
'Yes, they were 79 and 77, but they were th so young at heart and young in their heads and had so much life still to live.'

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