Coronavirus: 'Horrific' moment NHS worker and mother-of-two died in husband’s arms

Yahoo News UK
Kevin Tanner, left, has paid tribute to wife, Laura, right, who died from COVID-19 (SWNS)
Kevin Tanner, left, has paid tribute to wife, Laura, right, who died from COVID-19 (SWNS)

A husband has spoken about the “horrific” moment his wife, an NHS worker, died in his arms after contracting coronavirus.

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Mother-of-two Laura Tanner, 51, died on 1 April, struggling to breathe while being held by her husband Kevin as they waited for paramedics to arrive.

He said COVID-19 was given as the medical cause of death on his wife’s death certificate.

Mrs Tanner, from Basildon, Essex, worked as a locality administrator for Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group and had been employed by the NHS for more than 10 years.

The couple, along with her youngest son, Kian, 13, had fallen ill with flu-like symptoms less than two weeks before her death.

Laura and Kevin Tanner, from Basildon, Essex, on their wedding day. (SWNS)
Laura and Kevin Tanner, from Basildon, Essex, on their wedding day. (SWNS)
NHS worker Laura Tanner, 51, died from coronavirus at the beginning of April. (PA)
NHS worker Laura Tanner, 51, died from coronavirus at the beginning of April. (PA)

At one point, her temperature reached more than 40C.

On 27 March, Mr Tanner called paramedics, who stayed with her in their home until her temperature lowered, but she died five days later.

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Mr Tanner, a crane operator in London, said: "It was horrific – I still have nightmares.

"Laura’s youngest son was in the house in his room. It was like she was having a bad panic attack.

"She was struggling for a breath and was asking me to calm her down.

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"I called 999 and got Laura a paper bag and sat with her but her breathing just got shallower and shallower.

"Her eyes went small and I could see it, she was going and then she passed.”

He believes his wife died in his arms. Paramedics tried to revive her and she was formally pronounced dead on the way to hospital.

Mr Tanner said: “Laura was the most wonderful, warm, fantastic wife and mother we could have wished for. Not a day has gone by where we haven’t missed Laura around.

"This virus is real and takes lives, no matter who. Please stay inside and save lives."

A JustGiving page, set up to help support her husband, as well as Kian and Laura's eldest son, Ethan, 23, has so far raised more than £3,700.

Her funeral took place last Friday and was attended by eight close family members and friends.

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