Grieving family’s heartfelt plea: PLEASE stay at home

Just Regional
Apr 15, 2020 3 mins read

“He never went out. He lived his life as though he was in lockdown and he still caught it. And now he’s dead. If he can get this virus, anyone can. Please, please stay at home.”

This is the stark message of an Aylsham woman who is having to watch her father’s funeral on her Ipad rather than being with her mother and sister, 200 miles away after he died from covid-19.

Sue Cusick’s father, Bill, died at Southport Hospital on April 5 after testing positive for coronavirus three days earlier. And now the family are hoping their experience might bring home to others that the virus is contagious, it doesn’t discriminate – and it can kill.

Sue, a graphic designer at Just Regional, said her dad, who had asthma, was self-isolating when he started showing symptoms. She posted his death certificate online in the hope that it would shock others as it shocked her.

Bill Cusick’s death certificate, giving covid-19 as his cause of death.

“When I saw the cause of death on the certificate as ‘covid-19’… We all agreed if this makes even one person think differently about this virus then it’s worth sharing,” she said. “Everyone seems to think they’re immortal –  those people who aren’t practising social distancing, who aren’t staying home except for essentials, the old people who think they are invulnerable and the teenagers congregating in the woods: these people are all helping to spread this evil virus.

“So many people think they won’t catch it and are carrying on as normal. My dad never went out and he caught it. The neighbours said they couldn’t believe it as he never went out.

“Mum has said that she just wants to shout from the rooftops to stay at home.”

Sue, who also has asthma, is self-isolating in Aylsham for 12 weeks and is unable to go home to Merseyside to be with her mother and sister, Maria, for Bill’s funeral. She said: “The hardest part isn’t having to watch it on an Ipad. If my mum cries or breaks down, nobody can hug her…

Sue (right) is heartbroken that she cannot be with her mum, Pat, and sister Maria to say goodbye to her dad.

“It would have been a big funeral but, as it is, we can have only 10 people there. There is nothing normal about this loss … my mum can’t have the priests she wanted as they are both self-isolating and she won’t have all the family round her.”

And Sue is now particularly worried that her mother could catch the virus on top of the loss of her husband. “I’m so worried about her and there’s nothing I can do to help her, when I’m so far away.”

One of Bill’s favourite songs will be played at the service, on April 27 – Find My Way Home, by Vangelis.

Sue only wishes she could.

Bill Cusick with his wife, Pat. Bill died of coronavirus just days after being admitted to hospital. He rarely left his house and his family hope his death will make others think twice about breaking the restrictions.

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