Heartbreak for daughter as father and brother die within days of each other from Covid

A heartbroken woman has opened up about the pain of losing both her father and brother to Covid-19.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 6th May 2022, 9:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 9:23 am
Alastair, Elaine, Mark and Mary Rennie.

Elaine Rennie’s dad Alastair and brother Mark – both from Whitley Bay – died within a week of each other.

Alastair, who was 82, had previous health problems and died on April 13 while MS-sufferer Mark, who was 47 and had been bed-bound for ten years, passed away on April 21.

Alastair had been admitted to North Tyneside General Hospital, in North Shields, for bowel issues and it was while he was in hospital that Elaine believes he contracted the virus.

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Elaine Rennie with her father Alastair.

Elaine, from Grindon, Sunderland, said: “When my dad got home, he was back a day or so when he tested positive for Covid and had to go back to hospital, where they put him on the same ward.

“A few days later my brother, who had been living with my dad, got Covid and he had to be taken into hospital.

"They died within a week of each other. They didn’t see each other for their last two weeks.

"It’s been a big shock but I was able to be with them in hospital for their final few days, helping feed and look after them.

Alastair and Mark Rennie.

"It was horrific. My dad, who was my brother’s carer, was really suffering towards the end. It could have been avoided if the hospital had not mixed patients. It has sadly wiped out my whole family, there is only me left.

"Both had isolated for two years, they’d had all their vaccines, they hadn’t even seen anyone due to their underlying health conditions.”

Elaine is now planning a double funeral for the pair which will be open to the public. It will take place at 2.15pm on Tuesday, May 17, at Tynemouth Crematorium.

Elaine, a singer who has performed on Stars in their Eyes and for neighbours during lockdown, is planning to sing at the funeral.

Elaine Rennie with her mother Mary who died three years ago.

The family had moved to Whitley Bay from Paisley when Alastair got a job at Swan Hunters in Wallsend, and he also spent time working at British Shipbuilders at Sunderland shipyard.

Mark had worked in banking before having to stop due to his MS.

Paying tribute, Elaine said both had loved art, music and movies while Alistair made his own DVDs.

She said Mark was very popular on Twitter, with friends from around the world getting in touch to send tribute, pay their respects and send flowers.

Elaine added: “I hope to give them both the best send off possible.

"I want to add to the memory of them. I want to do the last thing I can for them now.

"I was so shocked at how this all happened – I was well-prepared to be caring for them both for years.

"It’s such a horrible shock that this has happened, but I’m the only one left now.”

Elaine has set up a funding appeal to help her cover the costs of the funerals.

Anyone who wants to make a donation can do so via https://www.gofundme.com/f/my-familys-funeral-my-dad-and-brother-and-mum

A Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “One of our senior clinicians has been in touch with Elaine to offer our sincere condolences and support as well as to help respond to her concerns.

"Due to patient confidentiality, we cannot comment any further.”