Tributes paid to 80-year-old Suffolk victim of coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 17:14 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:25 27 March 2020

Pat Bewley, who has died after contracting the coronavirus Picture: TONY PICK

Pat Bewley, who has died after contracting the coronavirus Picture: TONY PICK


Tributes have been paid to a “kind, loving and popular” Suffolk man who died after contracting coronavirus.

Pat Bewley with daughter Helen Brown, wife Beryl, and son Paul Picture: TONY PICKPat Bewley with daughter Helen Brown, wife Beryl, and son Paul Picture: TONY PICK

Pat Bewley, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, died at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds on Tuesday after being admitted on Sunday.

Mr Bewley, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), had been isolating at his home in Stowupland, near Stowmarket, with wife Beryl.

Mr Bewley’s son Paul, 42, said his father had showed none of the classic COVID-19 symptoms and was told to isolate on Tuesday, March 17 due to his pre-existing health condition.

His family do not know how the grandfather-of-six was exposed to the virus.

“It happened quite quickly,” Mr Bewley said.

“The doctors just said to keep him where he was and keep him comfortable. Then last Sunday, he had further respiratory problems and was taken into West Suffolk Hospital and he was tested.

“My sister was the only person who was allowed to go and see him at that stage, with my mum being elderly, and then we had a phonecall at 6am in the morning on Tuesday basically saying he was non-responsive.

“Me, my sister and my mum went to the hospital and we were told the news.”

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Mr Bewley, who lives in Little Stonham, near Stowmarket, urged people to listen to government advice to stay at home following his father’s death.

“The NHS staff are doing an amazing job under such tough circumstances.

“The message we want to get out there is follow the government guidance, give the NHS a fighting chance to control this before it gets completely out of control.

“My other message is stay safe but look after the vulnerable.

“Do what you can for people in your street, or village, because we need to all pull together. Unless we pull together, we’re not going to get through this.”

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Paying tribute to his dad, a former telecomms engineer, Mr Bewley added: “He was kind, loving and popular man.

“Since I put the post on Facebook, I’ve had so many nice messages from people.

“He always put others first and he was very well liked.

“He was a scout leader for a number of years, and he was just a really nice warm and gentle man.”

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