Norwich family blames norovirus illness for death of 27-year-old

The parents of a 27-year-old Norwich man believe he would still be alive if he had not contracted the norovirus illness.

Nathan Shailer, who suffered from cerebral palsy, died from pneumonia with norovirus as a contributory cause on Thursday, March 15.

Nathan's parents, David and Sue, from Montcalm Road, Thorpe Hamlet, have been inundated with calls of support since his death.

The Evening News featured Nathan in its pages many times over the years, and we once reported his family had to stay with him in hospital for seven weeks in 2006, due to a lack of nurses.

Mrs Shailer, 54, a part-time cleaner, said Nathan was born with cerebral palsy and was in and out of hospital in his early years, but his health later improved.

She said: 'Nathan was a happy boy, very easy-going. He made a really big impact on so many people. When we went to the hospital we could not believe how many people said they knew Nathan.'

Her mother-in-law contracted the norovirus illness at a day centre and she subsequently picked it up and passed it on to her son. She added: 'Nathan was sick in the early hours of Sunday morning and we rushed him to hospital. He died from pneumonia with norovirus as a contributory cause. We think he would still be here if he had not got the norovirus which led to pneumonia.'

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Mr Shailer, a 58-year-old driver, has called on people with the norovirus illness to think twice before returning to work until they are clear of contagion.

He said: 'We understand that my mother picked it up because someone had gone back to work when they were still ill. People think norovirus is just a 24-hour bug and rush back to work, where they infect other people.'

He added: 'Although Nathan was unable to talk he was able to communicate through his facial expressions and infectious laugh, and unique sense of humour. He had many battles with his health but showed a fighting sprit to pull through. Even when he was in hospital he still managed to have a laugh with his family and medical staff.

'Since the announcement of his passing we have been inundated with condolences from many people whom Nathan touched in their lives.'

Nathan's funeral will be at St Faiths at 4.15pm on March 28.

Would you like to pay tribute to a loved one in the Evening News? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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