‘We never thought we’d be affected by it’ - Family of coronavirus victim speak out

PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:38 15 April 2020

Bella Cordell was

Bella Cordell was "always happy, smiling and full of life". PHOTO: Submitted


The family of a woman who died from coronavirus complications is urging others to “pay attention” to the strict social distancing measures imposed by the government.

James Paget Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJames Paget Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Isabella Cordell lived in Pakefield in Lowestoft, but died from coronavirus at the James Paget Hospital, in Gorleston, last month at the age of 81.

Her great-niece, Nicola Mason, said: “People need to take this virus seriously, because we, like millions of others, never thought we’d be personally affected.”

Ms Cordell was taken into the JPUH after a fall, before then being tested for Covid-19 on the basis of clinical risk.

Ms Mason said: “To find out she’d tested positive for the disease was such a shock.

The James Paget Hospital's new 'respiratory A&E' unit. Photo: Simon StevensThe James Paget Hospital's new 'respiratory A&E' unit. Photo: Simon Stevens

“We’d already lost her brother-in-law two weeks before. Seeing Bella at his funeral, we didn’t think for one second that a short time later she would be ill herself and then pass away so suddenly.

“The virus and lockdown mean she can only have a certain amount of members at her funeral which is sad because we can’t go and say our farewells.”

Ms Cordell had a pacemaker and suffered from a lung condition, but family members have stressed that “she was otherwise healthy”.

According to Ms Mason, her great-aunt was “a lovely and kind-hearted lady” who was always thinking about other people either by making them gifts or popping in to say hello.

She said: “Bella was not a user of social media, and didn’t watch the news because of all the doom and gloom.

“She wouldn’t have taken on board the importance of staying in.

“She was very sociable and was always out and about - visiting the shops or collecting her sister and taking them to the beach with the dog.

“She loved the fresh air and lived life to the full.”

In response to the tragedy, the message from the family is unequivocal.

Ms Mason said: “We want people to listen to official advice and stay at home.

“As a family, we know how hard it is to be away from the people you love during this time, but choosing not to go out could be the difference between life and death.

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