The people who died with coronavirus this year will scar families, friends and colleagues long after the pandemic abates.
Among those who died include health and care workers who risked everything to care for patients in need, public transport workers unwittingly exposed in one of the most dangerous lines of work at the start of the pandemic, elderly people denied their retirements, people in ethnic minority communities most vulnerable to the disease and many more.
So far more than 3,200 people in Wales have lost their lives in 2020 after testing positive for Covid-19 – a figure which is growing every day. The sheer scale of grief left behind would have been impossible to imagine just 12 months ago.
The true death toll, including everyone whose death certificate mentioned the coronavirus, was already 4,200 in Wales by December 11 according to the ONS.
More than just a number, however, each person lost during the pandemic has their own story to tell and will be sorely missed by the loved ones they leave behind.
These are the faces of just some of the in Wales who have lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic. From the young to the old they came from every walk of life, truly representing the faces of modern Wales.
And while many people have not been able to come together to properly grieve their memories and accomplishments will not be forgotten.
Eleanor and Eileen Andrews, 66
Abercynon twins Eleanor and Eileen Andrews were 66 years old. Their family said they did everything together and are believed to have contracted the virus at the home they shared. Eleanor died on March 29 after being admitted to hospital and her sister passed away four days later.
Her son Stuart said neither Eleanor or Eileen received the funeral they deserved and compared the time around their death to a “horror film or a nightmare”.
Robert Ashton, 53
A senior lab technician at Cardiff University’s chemistry department, Robert Ashton had been diagnosed with terminal cancer only weeks before his death.
On the day he was due to be discharged from hospital to go to Holm Tower care home, and from there to go home, he tested positive for Covid-19. Within five days he sadly passed away.
Robert’s daughter Emma said: “He was the life and soul of the party and his smile would just brighten up the room. He was known by his smile and his sense of humour.
“He had two lifelong friends which were like uncles and there was always the three of them. He was hardworking and never had a sick day. He was well-respected by his peers.”
Tragically Emma’s grandmother Patricia Barnett, 73, also died with Covid-19 just 24 hours before Robert’s death. Emma said her grandmother, on her maternal side, helped raise her and taught her various skills growing up.
Sharon and Malcolm Bamford
Sharon Bamford was an auxiliary nurse at Singleton Hospital. In a heart-breaking set of circumstances Sharon, 63, passed away in intensive care on Tuesday, April 21, just days after her husband Malcolm Bamford, 73, died after contracting the virus.
In a tribute to Sharon, Jan Worthing, director of Singleton Hospital, said: “Sharon was highly thought of by all the patients who have used the services and loved by her colleagues and friends within the team. Sharon’s sad death will leave a massive void within the team and within the Singleton family.
“Our thoughts and condolences are obviously with their sons Craig and Chris at this devastating time with the loss of both Sharon and Malcolm. We offer our most sincere condolences to Sharon’s family, friends, and colleagues at this extremely sad time.”
Douglas George Bressington, 81
A popular figure at his local church and the Porthcawl Powerboat and Ski club Douglas Bressington, 81, died at Princess of Wales Hospital on March 17. He lived with his wife Joan in the seaside town after moving from the Rhondda in 2006.
Speaking about her father’s death daughter Caroline said: “It was devastating for us as a family because he meant so much to us. I’m so proud to call him my dad.”
Julianne Cadby, 49
Julianne Cadby, 49, was a beloved mum, wife, and business manager for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s specialist child and adolescent mental health services.
She had worked in the specialist service for more than 16 years but had been with the health board for 30 years, first starting as a medical secretary across a range of departments.
She leaves behind her husband Chris, their son Evan, and her brother Ian.
In a statement the health board described Julianne as “extremely warm and caring” and someone who would always make time to help her colleagues.
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Donna Campbell, 54
“Beautiful and kind-hearted” Donna Campbell, 54, died on Good Friday after testing positive for coronavirus. She was an NHS Healthcare worker at Velindre Cancer Centre and would “light up a room” with her infectious and bubbly personality.
After starting as a volunteer the mother-of-two became a vital team member due to her ability to comfort patients and families with her warm nature. Paying tribute to her, a spokesman for the centre said: “Donna was without doubt a treasured member of our work family who could light up a room with her infectious laugh and bubbly personality but at the same time she had the most wonderful ability to comfort and care for people.
“She was often found singing and dancing, entertaining patients and staff, making everyone smile. Donna will always have a special place in our hearts and we will all want to send our heartfelt sympathy and love to her family at this very difficult time.”
Jenelyn Carter, 42
Swansea Bay University Health Board said it was “deeply saddened” to confirm the death of 42-year-old Jenelyn Carter who worked on the admissions ward at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
Morriston Hospital’s nurse director Mark Madams said: “Jenelyn would go the extra mile for anyone and was a lovely caring person inside and out with a heart of gold. We are devastated by her death and offer our sincere condolences to her family and friends.”
Steven Courtney-Williams, 56
Steven Courtney-Williams will be remembered as a fun-loving and caring husband who loved to go on holiday.
He will be greatly missed by all his family and friends, including husband of 14 years David.
David, a nurse at Morriston Hospital, was also taken to intensive care with the virus and had to be told of Steven’s death after waking up from an induced coma.
Linnette Cruz, 51
Linnette Cruz, 51, passed away on April 14 after being treated for coronavirus in the intensive care unit at Morriston Hospital.
Ms Cruz was a senior head nurse at the Brynteg dental practice in Sketty, Swansea. She leaves behind her husband, son, sister, and her parents. Practice owner Nik Patel said: “She brought love, light, and joy to everyone around her and will be sadly missed by all.”
Gerallt Davies, 51
Gerallt Davies was the first paramedic in Wales to die with Covid-19.
The 51-year-old paramedic was awarded an MBE in 2019 for his years of services to first aid provision in Wales.
Gerallt joined the Welsh Ambulance Service in 1994 and was a valued member of St John Cymru Wales. His death has been described as a “devastating blow” by the Welsh Ambulance Service.
Iris Davies, 69
Iris Davies has been described as the “last of a dying breed” in her village of Ynyshir.
Her family said there wasn’t a boy in the whole of her village Ynyshir, in the Rhondda, who she had not fed them or given them a bed or settee to sleep on.
The mother and grandmother was known for her “wicked” sense of humour and she was still joking as she was fighting for her life during her final days at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
Thomas Davies, 27
Anglesey dad Thomas Davies became a father for a second time only 10 days before his death in March.
His family said he developed coronavirus symptoms after falling ill during his shift at a pub and telling family he had what he thought was a cold. The 27-year-old died at home despite thinking he was “over the worst of it”. His family described Thomas as a devoted father and the “funniest person ever”.
Becca Evans, 28
Becca Evans was only 28 years old when she died at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital on April 9. She will be remembered for her “kind and caring heart” and as someone who was always willing to help.
Becca, from Gelli, was a leader with Girlguiding and she also helped teach swimming with the Rhondda Polar Bears and dance with the Janet Denney School of Dancing. She was also involved with numerous local theatre groups.
Beverley Ford, 55
Beverley Ford, 55 worked as a care worker for the learning disability service for 36 years. Her friends and colleague described her as “a lovable, approachable, always motherly, kind-hearted, beautiful, strong, caring, supportive, and funny” person.
Beverley started working at Hensol Hospital in the Vale of Glamorgan in 1984. Latter she moved to the Brynafon Learning Disability Unit in Ferndale.
In a statement released by Swansea Bay University Health Board colleagues described how she would always share stories of her time working as a support worker in a positive and funny way and with great pride.
Mrs Ford was married to her husband Simon for 36 years.
Tim Galley, 47
Wrexham man Tim Galley, 47, died while self-isolating at home after developing coronavirus symptoms. The M&S Bank employee started to feel ill during a stag do and deteriorated quickly.
He was found by his neighbour after Tim’s partner Donna Cuthbert had been trying to contact him but had not heard back. Donna said he was “adored” by both her and her children.
Stuart Greaves, 57
A “cheeky” granddad-of-two and dedicated Chelsea supporter, 57-year-old Stuart Greaves suffered two brain bleeds linked to Covid-19.
He was taken to Nevill Hall Hospital where his condition continued to deteriorate. His family thanked the NHS staff that cared for him when they were unable to visit.
Stuart, from Rassau, Blaenau Gwent, will be remembered for his love of socialising but also as a “devoted” family man.
Sylvia Harthen, 73
Swansea woman Sylvia Harthen was a beloved grandmother to her 10 grandchildren. Although her family were not able to attend her bedside before her death they thanked the nurses who held Slyvia’s hand until the end for treating her with “dignity and care”.
An active member of the community, Sylvia, 73, dedicated herself to volunteering for many charities and was part of organisations including the Calon Lan society, Fforestfach Trust where she was treasurer, Treboeth History Society and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Cockett which she was part of for more than 50 years in many different roles.
Her family said she had been self-isolating and had not told them of the full extent of her illness.
Bryn and Pat Howells
Husband and wife Bryn and Pat Howells died within hours of each other on Easter Monday.
The pair, who were being treated for coronavirus at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, were described as “pillars of the community” in Gelli, Rhondda.
Pat, 80, originally moved to the area as an evacuee during World War Two and was a devoted treasurer, deacon, and caretaker at Hope Chapel. Former financial adviser Bryn’s passion lay in his role as lifelong member of Treorchy Male Voice Choir.
After marrying in November 1959 the pair had celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary not long before they died.
Mozadul Hussain, 63
Mozadul Hussain was a much-loved former Newport councillor and more recently worked for Dragon Taxis in Newport.
He was also was a well-known businessman, owning a number of restaurants including the once-popular Dilshad in Clarence Place.
The 63-year-old died on April 22 at the Royal Gwent Hospital. His son Kamal Hussain said: “He was liked by everyone, he left a good impression with anyone he spoke to and was always sharing his knowledge to family and friends.”
We are facing an unprecedented time where families and friends are unable to come together to mourn the lives of those we have lost.
If you would like to pay tribute to someone believed to have died from coronavirus please get in touch.
You can reach our reporter Anna at email@example.com or on 02920243641.
Michael Jay, 81
Michael Jay, known as Micky, was a popular family man who loved spending time with his four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A former sprayer at Catnic, the 81-year-old loved spending time in Benidorm, where some of his ashes will be scattered once lockdown guidelines are lifted.
Michael died at the Royal Gwent Hospital on April 4 as his granddaughter Nadia rocked him.
Phil Knighton, 71
Loving granddad Phil Knighton died on his 71st birthday on April 8. A former railway technician from Llanbradach, he loved to people-watch and spent years building up his railway set.
More than anything, however, Phil loved Christmas and became famous in the area for him impressive annual decorations and light displays. Together with his wife of 31 years Christine he would save all year to buy new additions to his collection.
This year Phil’s family put up his Christmas lights in memory of him with dozens of people coming to see the display.
Gladys, Darren and Dean Lewis
In an unthinkable turn of events Gladys Lewis and her sons Darren and Dean Lewis died within five days of each other.
A traditional home carer Gladys was known for her compassion and even in her retirement spent her time looking after elderly neighbours.
Paying tribute Dean’s wife Claire said her husband “had a heart of gold like his mum and would do anything for friends and family”.
The family had been shielding to protect Darren who had Down Syndrome and had suffered with pneumonia.
In the hours after the devastating news members of the community in Pentre, Rhondda, started fundraising to support the rest of the family.
Undeg Lewis, 59
Undeg Lewis was a shop worker and clerk of the community council in the Carmarthenshire village of Efailwen.
Her family said the 59-year-old loved her community. She leaves behind husband Tudor and children Rhodri, Gwyndaf, and Nia.
The mother-of-three died at Glangwili Hospital after falling ill with a cough and breathing difficulties.
Undeg’s son Rhodri said her death proved the virus could reach anywhere and urged others to stay at home.
Rizal Manalo, 51
Rizal Manalo was a nurse at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Denbighshire. He was described as a “a good husband and a loving father” and was well-respected by colleagues and patients.
The 51-year-old, fondly known as Zaldy to his friends and colleagues, had worked at Glan Clwyd and Abergele Hospital since August 2001 when he was recruited from the Philippines to work in north Wales.
At the time of his death in June his wife Agnes said: “Zaldy is a hard-working person who loved his job dearly. He’s a good husband and a loving father to his children. He protected and cared for us.”
John Moore, 96
At 96 years old John Moore has been described as someone who gave his friendship “freely to the young and old.”
Born in Liverpool, at 17 years old he joined the RAF and his crew flew 27 of 30 allotted missions across Europe during World War Two before their Lancaster Bomber was damaged by the enemy.
Forty years ago John moved to Cardiff to work with disadvantaged teenagers in Ely.
He later became a “central part” of life in the Vale of Glamorgan village of Aberthin and was a regular at community events.
Brian Mfula, a lecturer in mental health nursing at Swansea University, was described as “an inspiring teacher who taught from the heart”.
The university said he will be remembered for his “generous spirit, his warm personality, and his highly infectious laugh”.
Brian was also a dedicated family man to his four children. His family were left overwhelmed by the outpouring of love after his death and thanked students, friends, and colleagues who put a smile on the lecturer’s face “every day”.
Terry Murphy, 57
A grandmother-of-10, Terry had been diagnosed with bowel cancer before contracting Covid-19. Her family believe she may have contracted the virus while in hospital after undergoing an operation.
Terry, 57, will be remembered for giving honest advice and having a laugh. Her family have described her as “a mother to everyone” in her community in Barry.
Keith Peacock, 76
Keith was known as a “legendary” landlord of the Thorn Hotel in Abercynon. Over the years the grandfather and great-grandfather made the pub a home for musicians from all backgrounds, raising thousands of pounds for charity through his music events.
In the weeks before his death Keith called for greater support to allow pubs to close in areas with high infection rates to protect others.
Allan Pearce, 72
Former electrician Allan Pearce, 72, had no symptoms of coronavirus when he he was taken ill at the home he shared with his wife in Penarth.
Sadly he was rushed to hospital in the early hours of Saturday, April 4, with a suspected angina attack but passed away the same day.
His wife of 38 years Pat described the pain of saying goodbye to him through a nurse on the phone said she hoped to eventually scatter Allan’s ashes somewhere that had been close to his heart.
Jitendra Rathod, 62
One of Wales’ leading surgeons and a specialist in cardiac surgery, Jitendra Rathod was described as a “incredibly dedicated surgeon” who cared deeply for his patients.
He was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales after contracting Covid-19 but died despite the best efforts of colleagues.
Known to colleagues as Jitu, he was said in a Cardiff and Vale University Health Board statement to have been “well-liked and greatly respected by one and all.”
The statement added: “He was very compassionate and a wonderful human being. His commitment to the speciality was exemplary. He is survived by his wife and two sons.”
Gareth Roberts, 65
Aberdare nurse Gareth Roberts worked across the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board area and came back out of retirement in 2015. In the weeks before his death he had been working extra shifts at Llandough Hospital.
Since his death at Prince Charles Hospital his family have told how Gareth had not been given proper PPE equipment but had refused to stay at home.
The 65-year-old has been described as a “lovely man through and though” who was known for his catchphrase: “Come on, cariad, we can do this together.”
Julius Sana, 40
Healthcare support worker Julius Sana leaves behind children Marc, 11, Princess, five, and wife Maricar. The 40-year-old was a popular colleague at St Peter’s Hospital in Newport.
He spent a number of weeks on a ventilator after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19. Humble and quiet, he will be remembered for “always smiling” and his willingness to help patients.
Mark Simons, 59
Mark Simons was a health care assistant and Unite representative at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. He was also the lead representative within the Unite branch for all matters relating to health and safety.
Paying tribute, the union said Mark worked “tirelessly” with the health board using his expertise and knowledge to protect staff before and during the pandemic. He was also described as “tenacious and committed” and never afraid to challenge people for what he believed in.
Andy Treble, 47
A theatre assistant at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Andy Treble will be remembered as a kind man who “always had a smile on his face”.
Mr Treble’s daughter, Emily, 17, said: “He was such a lovely man, I’m proud to call him my father. He’s helped me through so much and he has always been there for me.
“He always cheered me up by watching Laurel and Hardy together. He was so kind, so loving, and he will be missed forever.”
Theatre manager David Bevan said Andy’s death hads “left a hole in his theatre family”.
Allan Tyler, 75
Grandfather-of-two Allan Tyler was a former computing lecturer at Afan College and teacher at Dylan Thomas community school.
After his retirement he enjoyed fishing, woodwork, bowls, and choir and would often be found chatting with neighbours while gardening.
Allan, from Skewen, died on April 17 at Morrison Hospital after contracting Covid-19. He will be sorely missed by partner Jill, sons Mathew and Adam, and grandchildren Dylan and Hadley.
Paul Wilkins, 59
Paul Wilkins has been described as a “larger than life character” and “real family man”.
He was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital with breathing difficulties where he spent three weeks before his death on April 23.
Paul, from Newport, loved cars and bikes and worked as a delivery driver. His son, Thomas, described how Paul “was more than a father – he was a best friend”.
Evan Williams, 79
Former Conway MP Betty Williams led tributes to her husband Evan. She described the 79-year-old as “quiet, a wonderful husband, wonderful father, and wonderful grandfather”.
Evan died on Good Friday – two weeks after being taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor with suspected coronavirus.
The former politician has raised her concerns after he tested negative for coronavirus twice before being taken to a general respiratory ward.
Rachael Yates, 33
Rachael Yates was a prison officer at Usk Prison in Monmouthshire. She was the fourth member of prison staff in the UK known to have died after catching the virus.
On the day of her funeral members of the public clapped as her coffin was driven through the town while colleagues formed a guard of honour outside the prison where she worked.
Tributes paid to Rachael described her as a “valued and dedicated member” of the team.