Mum, 38, dies of COVID after telling husband and son she loved them

Ellen Manning
·3-min read
Emma Reilly told her husband and son she loved them moments before she was placed onto a ventilator - but never woke up. (Reach)
Emma Reilly told her husband and son she loved them moments before she was placed on to a ventilator – and never woke up. (Reach)

A mum suffering from coronavirus told her husband and son she loved them moments before she was put on a ventilator and never woke up.

Emma Reilly, 38, died on 7 January after contracting the virus over Christmas.

She spent 12 days in hospital but never woke up again after being put on a ventilator, leaving behind husband Tony and five-year-old son Connor.

“She rang me and she was so weak she could hardly speak,” said Tony.

“She told me and Connor that she loved us. That was the last time I ever spoke to her.

“They put her to sleep and placed her on a ventilator.”

Emma Reilly
Emma Reilly and husband Tony both suffered from what appeared to be a cold in the run-up to Christmas. (Reach)

Tony, 38, said both he and his wife, who lived in Greater Manchester, had symptoms of a cold before Christmas and tested positive for coronavirus.

Emma’s condition worsened and he called an ambulance on Boxing Day.

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She was taken to Salford Royal Hospital, where medics tried to get more oxygen into her but then decided they would have to put her on a ventilator.

COVID death
Tony Reilly said he held his wife's hand as she passed away. (Reach)

After she spent several days on a ventilator, Tony said he received a call in the early hours of 7 January to say nothing more could be done for her and he needed to go to the hospital.

“I had Connor with me and asked if he could come, which they agreed,” he said.

“The staff were amazing and helped to look after him while I was there.

“She briefly showed signs of recovery and they told me to go back home again, take a shower, and have some food. I did that and returned later but her condition worsened.

Read more: Dad, 27, dies after leaving A&E over fear of catching COVID and passing it to baby daughter

“They said she didn't have much longer. I held her hand as she passed away.

“The hardest thing I have ever had to do was to tell Connor that his mummy had gone to heaven. It broke my heart.”

Tony said medical staff at the hospital told him Emma had been suffering from undiagnosed cellulitis.

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He said her death has not just devastated his family but many friends in Redditch, Worcestershire, where she lived most of her life.

He said: “Emma was such a bubbly fun going woman with a heart of gold. She was always there to support people in their time of need. She liked to raise money for charity through Race For Life and other fundraising events.

“I have received so many messages of support from so many people.”

Elaine Darwin, headteacher of Irlam Primary School, where Connor is a pupil, has set up a GoFundMe fundraising campaign to contribute to the funeral costs.

She wrote: “This is for the family of Emma Reilly, a beautiful lady both inside and out, who passed away in hospital after contracting COVID-19.

“She leaves behind her heartbroken husband, Tony, and 5-year-old son Connor.

“The money raised will help the family through their devastating loss and will be put into savings to help Connor, which is what Emma would have wanted.”

To donate, visit the GoFundMe page.

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