Coronavirus: Tribute to Ilford man who lived in same street as his three brothers
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:42 18 May 2020
A man has said he felt helpless as his dad, whose entire family lives in four houses in the same Ilford street, died after contracting Covid-19.
Subhash Chandra Sharma, 63, died on April 14 at King George Hospital, after testing positive for Covid-19 in early April.
Subhash was born in Kenya but moved to London as a 12-year-old and his family was so close-knit that he bought a house in the same street where three of his brothers lived. More than a dozen family members live on the same block.
Subhash spent most of his life as an accountant for various NHS trusts, and retired from the Lambeth, Southwark & Lewisham trust in 2009.
Following Subhash’s death his family started a fundraiser to raise money for charities that meant a lot to him and initially thought they would raise a couple of hundred pounds. They were astonished to hit almost £3,000 in just a few days.
His son Gaurav, who lives in Surrey, told the Recorder how helpless he felt as his dad was losing his battle with the virus.
He said: “My dad was the kind of person who never got sick so we kept thinking he just had a bad chest infection and we were in a bit of shock when the doctors confirmed it was Covid-19.”
Subhash’s condition would worsen and then improve, giving his family the hope that he would recover but the virus kept attacking his system.
Gaurav said: “The week before he died he was stable and then all of a sudden he took a turn for the worse and the doctors said they were going to make him comfortable for the end of his life.
“It’s really tough to hear that over the phone and not be there for him.”
Gaurav asked the doctors if he could visit his dad before he died but since he has some medical conditions himself they advised against that.
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He said: “Every instinct in your body wants you to be there but you can’t.”
Gaurav has a three-year-old son, Ranvir, who his dad adored and his wife Neera is expecting another child in September.
Though Subhash had diabetes he had learned to manage that well and after grandson Ranvir was born he made an active decision to have a healthy lifestyle.
Gaurav said: “In recent years he lost so much weight and was always checking his Fitbit to make sure he hit his daily step goals and he made sure he was eating properly and he was able to massively reduce his cholesterol.”
Due to the restrictions surrounding burials during the pandemic, Subhash’s funeral is on Thursday, May 21, more than five weeks after he died.
Gaurav said not being able to have the funeral soon after his dad’s death made the whole situation feel surreal, “like we’re stuck in limbo”.
He said it’s also been painful to not be able to visit his mother and be with her while she’s grieving.
He said: “My parents were married for 35 years and it’s been really difficult for her, even though my brother lives with her he’s working so she’s alone for the first time.
“It’s been tough because it’s my mum and I want to be there for her but I haven’t been able to see her in two months.”
Despite that he said the support from the community has been amazing.
He started the fundraiser initially so people could give support to charities that meant a lot to his dad and not send flowers.
He said: “We thought if we could raise a couple hundred pounds that would be great but to see so many people contribute, particularly in this day and age when the economy is so bad and people are hurting was really amazing.”
To contribute to the fundraiser which is raising money for Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-subhash-sharma
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