A son who couldn’t find a way to succumb to Covid-19 before saying goodbye to his dying mother or visiting his ailing nan, spoke about the deep and lasting trauma his family was in – and the ‘Partygate’ His fury at the revelations.
Sam Whitmore, 27, was not allowed to see her beloved mother Sally again after she was hospitalized in April 2020. He never got to give her one last hug or say goodbye – and that still haunts her.
It is therefore ‘unforgivable’ that PM Boris Johnson and Downing Street staff organized a party among other gatherings, as Sam and sister Amy were making disturbing choices about who could be at their small gathering. Graveyard two days later, he says.
Read more: Fury among families who follow rules while partying in Downing Street
Sam said, “We followed the rules, we tried to do the right thing… and then we found out that No. 10 was having a lot of fun.”
Sally, a hugely popular teaching assistant at Eldridge School who had devoted years to taking care of the pupils, caught the virus during the first crushing wave of the pandemic that swept through Birmingham and the Black Country.
It is likely that he and his partner, Calvin, caught the virus at a time when the infection began to spread rapidly, but before the lockdown restrictions came into force.
Both became very ill, and ended up on ventilators in intensive care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and various hospitals in Worcester.
For Sam and sister Amy, 30, a babysitter, it was a terrible separation for the whole family.
“We had to go through all the pain of not being there, not being allowed to travel,” Sam said.
“Every time the phone rang, I felt sick. I didn’t know whether the news would be positive or negative.”
It wasn’t just Sally and Calvin on his mind. His maternal grandmother, 78-year-old Pauline, who was in the hospital with a knee infection, caught COVID in the ward and also fell ill.
“There were three people looking after us, including our mom and nan, in the hospital, Grandpa was really struggling, and we had no way of seeing any of them. It was so painful.”
The family was in “pure hell” for three painful weeks, Sam said, anticipating any sign of recovery and fearing the worst—they finally got word that Sally’s fight was coming to an end.
In diary entry Sam later shared with friends and family, writing about the day his mother passed away.
“April 24: Sitting in the back garden around 12-1 p.m. I looked at the grass and saw there, in front of me, mother’s favorite butterfly, barely moving, but making sure I Before I could see it flying towards me and almost landing on me. At that moment I thought, ‘It’s okay, she’s telling me she’s fine’.
“Within half an hour, Amy came to me with an update, in tears and with the voice I was dreading. She was told she needed to go to the hospital as soon as possible. In other words, it’s going to happen soon.” It was the end of the road.”
Sam and Amy had to make a serious choice about who could go and sit with them in their final moments, with hospital rules restricting ITU visits to Worcestershire Royal Hospital to only one relative. Was.
“Due to restrictions, only my sister was allowed inside.
“I’m glad my sister was there to keep him safe and settle him in his last moments. But I couldn’t get to say goodbye, or hold him. It will be a moment I will never forget, a memory that will haunt me.” Daily.”
Sam said: “Everyone involved in the hospitals was brilliant in the support they gave to my mom, but it was just the restrictions were terrible.
“That’s why it’s such a kick in the teeth, we went through all of that, we followed all the rules. Then whatever’s on your face when all these revelations come out.
“To learn that the prime minister was meeting for drinks, two days before we buried my mother at a socially distant funeral, allowing only a handful of people to attend, is unforgivable.”
Sam expressed his disappointment on social media last week following the revelations about the May 20 incident. “So it’s 2 days before my mother’s funeral, PM and his corrupt friends have a party of around 30-40 people,” she tweeted.
“Even though we were only allowed 10 inside the ceremony, my grandfather (his father) was unable to attend and asked to wear a face mask – while this is a jolly up number 10.”
Sally’s work colleagues at Eldridge School, where she had worked for years as a teaching assistant, and friends from across the field couldn’t say goodbye to themselves.
So instead they set out to send her a wonderfully socially distanced funeral procession to show their love to Sally, who lined the ledges and streets. The short video below gives a snapshot of the emotions being poured out at his passing.
“Mom was really liked and loved, she was the life and soul of the party, she was highly respected in school,” Sam said.
“The school was really helpful and a memorial was set up in his name.
“But they couldn’t be with us for his final farewell. The only way they could show their support was to stand outside their homes and workplaces. It meant a lot.”
Sam, a football development manager who works with youth for West Brom’s charity Albion Foundation, said the family’s heartache would be long-lasting – and did not end with Sally’s death.
Pauline continued to deteriorate for Sam’s Nan. She came home briefly – but within hours she collapsed and Amy had to do her CPR to keep her alive.
She ended up in a nursing home, where she could not draw on the comfort of her family to help her through her grief over the loss of her daughter, or to support her ill health.
“We could only visit the window. The lack of contact was very difficult for him. Heartbreak and Covid proved to be too much.”
He died in October 2020.
The death of Sally’s partner, Calvin, leaves her with life-changing symptoms.
He has endured several operations to try to repair the nerve damage, some have lost vision meaning he is not allowed to drive, and others have prolonged Covid symptoms.
It’s heartwarming stories like these that help explain the furious reaction to the news that Boris Johnson and colleagues in Downing Street offices were enjoying after-work drinks together at the height of national lockdown restrictions .
“We did all we were meant to do. We couldn’t get along well with my mom, or my nan, when she needed us. This news has brought back all the pain we went through. We lived through a trauma for 18 months, and it’s still going on,” Sam said.
The Whitmores aren’t the only family feeling the burning outrage at the apparent hypocrisy shown outside Downing Street.
Caroline, the mother of Kerry Walters, caught Covid while in the hospital. He was admitted to Heartland Hospital for a cancer operation in late January, before being transferred to Qi’s Intensive Care Unit on March 26. He died on 7 April.
Carey says the defeat breaks her ‘heart every day’.
“This angered me. Four weeks before this garden party I was at Mom’s funeral. Only ten were allowed in. I had to be two meters away from the family and wasn’t able to meet Mom in the chapel of comfort.” .
“The mother died alone, because no one was allowed to be with her when she took the ventilator back.
“Not being able to be with her still breaks my heart every day knowing she died alone.
“Anger is an understatement for how I feel.”
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