An Angus widow has bravely spoken of her Covid-19 heartache after losing the husband of 20 years to the pandemic.
Just days after a final farewell to her husband, Garry, Belinda Robertson said people needed to remain on high alert to coronavirus symptoms and risks of it spreading.
And she urged others not to hesitate in getting a vaccination jab, saying she believed her first inoculation may have already saved her from contracting the disease.
NHS domestic supervisor Belinda revealed her gratitude towards the “amazing” frontline colleagues who fought for Garry.
He sought medical treatment for what he initially thought was a chest infection. However, it proved to be the virus and he faced an ultimately unsuccessful battle for survival in ICU at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital.
Belinda, 48, and the couple’s 24-year-old daughter, Joni Davidson, say they have been devastated by their loss, but have shared their appreciation of the “overwhelming” support of friends and colleagues of Garry.
And as a crowdfunder set up by the dog-loving couple for a canine charity passed the £2,500 mark, she said Garry would have been proud of the backing which has flooded in for the organisation.
Dundonian Garry, a long-time foreman at the Friockheim factory of LC Packaging, first took ill in January.
“Garry was very, very careful,” said Belinda, who lives at Careston, near Brechin.
“He had asthma, and because I have Crohn’s he was always extremely cautious.
“He did all the shopping and things like that so that I could stay shielded.”
She said that although he was feeling unwell, an absence of Covid-19 symptoms led Garry to believe it was not the virus.
“He didn’t get any better and could not get out of bed,” added Belinda.
“Garry was taken in on February 6. He had a week in HDU and was then taken to ICU. He was ventilated for nine days, but died on February 23,” she said.
“They did everything they could for him but it had already done its damage and it was too much.
“The hospital team were fantastic, they fought every step of the way for Garry.
“Garry was fit, he was healthy but sadly this blasted disease has taken someone we loved.”
She said she received her first Covid jab around three weeks’ before Garry’s symptoms began.
“I think we would have been living with each other for about 10 days together after I had the vaccine and I have been fine.
“I think that shows just how important it is to be vaccinated.
“And I would urge people to still take this terrible virus very seriously.
“People are walking about without masks and they seem to think it is all going the right direction and we will be fine. It is not and they have to remember that.”
The couple were devoted German Shepherd owners and a wreath at Garry’s funeral was an “amazing” floral recreation of his favourite pet, Boss.
Belinda, who is originally from Abroath, said: “We set up the crowdfunder for German Shepherd Welfare and all of the money is going to that.
“Already we have had to re-adjust the target because people have been so generous. We will keep it open for a wee while longer.
“I know Garry would be overwhelmed by the response.
“Garry’s employers and colleagues have been fantastic, and the support we have had has been so gratifying and made such a difference.
“It has helped us through this, but we have to carry on our life without him and it is going to be so hard,” she said.