A dad-of-nine has tragically died after catching coronavirus – just months after his new baby was born.
Odel Lawrence died on April 15 aged 44, only months after his sister also died with the virus.
The “fit and healthy” YMCA worker, from Liverpool, died six weeks after testing positive for Covid.
The devoted dad had showed signs of improvement before his health deteriorated and he sadly passed away.
Odel was described by his wife, Monique Lawrence, as a compassionate, hard-working man who always went out of his way to help others, the Liverpool Echo reports.
You can visit the GoFundMe page to help support Odel’s family here
A GoFundMe page has since been set up to support Odel’s family during this devastating time.
Paying tribute to her husband, Monique, 37, said: “He treated people with a lot of respect and he got on with everybody. He was very compassionate.”
Months before testing positive for coronavirus himself, Monique said Odel had already suffered loss because of the virus.
In October Odel’s sister contracted Covid and he travelled to Jamaica, where he was originally from, so he was able to attend her funeral.
Months later, in February, Odel tragically contracted the virus himself as he, Monique, who was shielding, and other family members all tested positive.
After working hard to make sure Monique was shielded and safe, Odel was diagnosed with the virus just one month after he’d welcomed a new baby in January.
Monique said: “My family have spent most of their time shielding me because I’m the one who had the underlying health problems.
“But he didn’t have any, he was a fit guy. He didn’t go the doctors very often.
“In February he was a bit stuffy and because he was due to go back to work, his work place requirement was for him to take a Covid test, to make sure he was negative before he could start his shift.
“He took the test, but he had to redo it, and it had come back he was positive. By then everyone else in the house was starting to get symptoms.
“We’re all trying to get through it, but in our minds we thought he would get over it.”
Monique said Odel’s breathing began to become more strained and he was struggling to breathe while climbing the stairs and doing ordinary tasks.
The dad was taken into hospital on February 10, where his condition quickly deteriorated.
Odel was placed onto a ventilator and the family were faced with heartbreaking calls from the hospital warning them his condition was worsening.
Monique said: “I get a call to say get the family members together because he’s not responding to the ventilator and he’s not going to make it, and I sobbed my eyes out and cried.”
But Odel began to make progress, his condition improved and he was able to be weaned off the ventilator.
But in a devastating setback, Odel picked up an infection and his health declined once more.
Monique said: “He was doing well, we had video clips of him yawning and we could see he was improving. I was told he was relying on only 25% of the ventilator, but then all of a sudden he picked up a chest infection.
“He was moved into an isolation room where the air was warmer and cleaner and I was hoping he’d just get over the infection.
“He started to make improvements again and we were brought into the hospital to see him. I was spending hours praying and singing to him, to try and comfort him.”
As Odel’s condition continued to decline, Monique said one of his lungs collapsed and she was called to say goodbye to him.
Paying tribute to Odel, Monique said: “He was a very kind, compassionate, Christian family man who worked hard to support his wife, nine children, his mother and siblings.
“In his work people respected him a lot, they loved to work with him.
“Our neighbours know him because he would bring in their wheelie bins for him. They’re quite elderly and he would say to them ‘just ask and I’ll send my kids to the shop for you’.
“He was very skilled and he built an office from scratch in the church we went to, that’s how skilled he was. There wasn’t much he couldn’t do.
“He was just really funny and had such a good sense of humour. He doesn’t drink or smoke and that’s one of the most annoying things, he doesn’t do any of that but this virus completely destroyed him.
“Just to avoid catching the virus he would walk to work and avoid public transport. He would walk to town, he’d walk everywhere.”
Since setting up the fundraiser, Monique said kind donations have flooded in and her children’s school and Odel’s work place were particularly supportive.
- You can donate to the GoFundMe page here.