Tributes paid to 'always smiling' Jamie, 35, who died with coronavirus
- Credit: Supplied by family
Heartfelt tributes have been paid to an Ipswich father-of-two who died after contracting coronavirus, aged just 35.
Ipswich Town-mad dad Jamie Slade died on Sunday, January 3, after testing positive for the virus shortly after Christmas Day.
The season ticket holder and father of Elijah, five, and Owen, 14, had begun experiencing headaches, nausea and tiredness before going to be tested in the run-up to Christmas – but he and his family had doubted he had the virus as he did not show major symptoms such as a fever.
While his positive result after Christmas came as a shock to them all, no shock came greater than when Jamie – who had no underlying health conditions – stopped breathing at home on the Sunday morning, just days before the family were meant to finish their isolation period.
It is believed his death was caused by a Covid-related cardiac arrest.
Jamie's younger brother, Gary, said the devoted Whitehouse family man will always be remembered for his infectious positivity and lust for life.
He said: "He was just a genuinely happy bloke who was always smiling.
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"He never forgot a face and would always love to have a chat with people, he just had such a lust for life. He loved going to Ipswich Town games home and away and loved his darts. Before the lockdown, he was playing for the Earl Kitchener.
"The heartbreaking thing is that he was so looking forward to settling down with his girlfriend and buying their own place together."
Ipswich Town Football Club also paid tribute to the former One Sixth Form College IT technician, tweeting: "So sorry to hear your loss, Gary. Once a blue, always a blue."
Mr Slade added that some of his favourite memories with his brother include travelling across Europe watching their beloved football – while the pair had also been on a trip to the USA to watch Jamie's NHL favourites the Boston Bruins and Gary's NFL team the New England Patriots.
He also made a plea to so-called "coronavirus deniers" who believe the virus to be a constructed hoax.
He said: "We had all started to let our guards down a little bit and believed that it was only the elderly and the vulnerable who were affected by this virus.
"Seeing people say those things just makes me angry. I will never understand why people don't think this is real.
"We all need to do whatever we can to protect ourselves and protect our families."
A JustGiving page raising money for Jamie's family has so far raised more than £2,500. Donations can be made here.