Family’s heartbreak after ‘smiling and joking’ dad dies of coronavirus
- Credit: JESS PRIDMORE
The family of a father-of-four who died suddenly from Covid-19 have paid tribute to him, describing the 56-year-old as their “rock” and a “much-loved man in the village” of Shotley.
Malcolm Pridmore, who was well-known and loved by many after running a burger van at Shotley Gate for more than three years, died at Ipswich Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus.
The grandfather of nine, who grew up in Hackney before moving to Clacton and then to Shotley 20 years ago, was described by his youngest daughter as a “very happy man who was always smiling and joking around”.
For the past 18 months, Malcolm had been working in the maintenance team at Spring Lodge Care Home in Ipswich, where three of his daughters work as carers and his partner of 20 years, Paula, is a cleaner.
The Arsenal fan, who suffered a heart attack four years ago, was taken to hospital on Saturday, April 11 with symptoms of the virus, before being transferred to the critical care unit two days later.
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After test results confirmed Malcolm had coronavirus, he was intubated and put on a ventilator.
He quickly deteriorated and, despite his family hoping he would pull through, he died in hospital on Wednesday, May 13 - more than a month after he was admitted.
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His 22-year-old daughter Jess, said the whole family – including her mum Paula and her three older sisters Carly, 34, Amy, 28 and Kirby, 23 – are all devastated.
“It has been a huge shock,” said Jess. “The first few weeks we thought he was getting better, so we are all heartbroken.
“He was our rock.”
The virus had attacked Malcolm’s kidneys and he was relying on lots of oxygen to stay alive, but doctors feared Covid-19 could have an impact on his brain – and that’s when the decision was made to turn off his machine.
His daughters and partner Paula were all able to Skype Malcolm hours before he died, praising the “amazing” hospital staff for being so kind to him.
Speaking of her step-dad, Jess said: “He was lovely, caring, thoughtful and was always smiling.
“He used to love spending time at Shotley Sailing club with my mum and Corfu was his happy place, where together they spent many trips with their two best friends Grahame and Pascale.”
Malcolm had nine grandchildren who he loved dearly – all of whom Jess said will “miss their grandad so much”.
She said the family are “very tight knit” and will keep each other occupied while they try to comes to terms with Malcolm’s death.
His daughter Kirby, who has started her own sweet company called Elsie’s Treats, has raised more than £1,000 so far by hosting two fundraisers in memory of her dad.
A third will be taking place this weekend to help raise money for the critical care unit at Ipswich Hospital.