Family of boy, 13, who died after getting coronavirus give tribute

Family of Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim mourn 13-year-old ‘loving son’ with ‘heart-warming’ smile – and urge Britons to ‘stay at home to protect NHS and save lives’

  • IsmailAbdulwahab, 13, from Brixton, London, died in hospital on Monday
  • He is believed to be the youngest victim of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK 
  • His heartbroken family revealed how he died alone at King’s College Hospital  
  • They said: ‘Ismail was a loving son, brother, nephew to our family and a friend to many people who knew him. His smile was heart-warming and he was always gentle and kind’
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

The bereft and ‘beyond devastated’ family of Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim who died aged just 13 today paid tribute to the ‘gentle and kind’ schoolboy.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton, South London, died alone at King’s College Hospital in London on Monday, with family members unable to visit him in fear of catching the deadly virus.    

He is not thought to have had any underlying health conditions as deaths hit 563-a-day in the UK today, with 2,352 now passing away after contracting coronavirus. 

In a statement issued through GoFundMe, Ismail’s heartbroken parents and six siblings said: ‘We are heartbroken as a family due to the devastation caused by the coronavirus as it becomes too real for us as a family and community.

‘Ismail was a loving son, brother, nephew to our family and a friend to many people who knew him. His smile was heart-warming and he was always gentle and kind.’

They added: ‘We also wanted to re-iterate the need for people to listen to government guidance.

‘Covid-19 is a virus that is attacking all members of our society, not just older people or those with pre-existing conditions. So please do everything you can to ensure that we adhere to social distancing; that people stay at home as much as they possibly can, to protect the NHS and save lives’.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, 13, is believed to have died alone at King’s College Hospital in London yesterday and his family released a moving tribute to the Brixton schoolboy today

They went on: ‘As a family, we have decided not to release Ismail’s picture at this juncture as we are concerned where it may end up and how this will impact us upon seeing it.

‘We as a family are still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of Ismail. He leaves behind six siblings who are completely devastated and this has been made more difficult not being able to be with Ismail while he was in the hospital.’ 

News of Ismail’s death was shared on a GoFundMe page created by Madinah College, in Brixton, to raise money for his funeral and was later confirmed by King’s College Hospital.

The boy’s family, who also recently lost his father to cancer, said they would not be releasing any photos of Ismail and that they were ‘beyond devastated’. 

It comes as a record-breaking 381 coronavirus deaths and 3,009 cases were declared in the UK on Tuesday, which is officially Britain’s darkest day so far in the ever-worsening crisis.

A statement from Ismail’s family yesterday said: ‘Ismail started showing symptoms and had difficulties breathing and was admitted to Kings College Hospital. 

‘He was put on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma but sadly died yesterday morning. 

‘To our knowledge he had no underlying health conditions. We are beyond devastated.’

Mark Stephenson – College Director at the Madinah College where Ismail’s sister works – said: ‘Ismail was tested positive for coronavirus. They have not released the body yet, as the coroner wants to do an autopsy – I’m assuming due to his young age and not having underlying conditions.’

Madinah College in Brixton, London, where Ismail attended. The college set-up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for his funeral 

The fundraising page reads: ‘It is with great sadness to announce that the brother of one of our teachers at Madinah College has sadly passed away this morning (Monday 30th March 2020) due to being infected with Covid 19.

‘He was only 13 years old without any pre-existing health conditions and sadly he died without any family members close by due to the highly infectious nature of Covid 19.

‘We at Madinah College would like to appeal to our brothers and sisters to donate generously to help raise £4000 for the funeral costs.’

A spokesman for King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time.

‘The death has been referred to the Coroner and no further comment will be made.’

Ismail’s death comes just hours after a 12-year-old girl died from coronavirus in Belgium. 

The girl had had a fever for three days before her death, and tested positive for COVID-19, said Belgian government spokesman Steven Van Gucht. 

No other details were given about her case, including whether she had any other underlying health problems.

News of the boy’s death was shared on a GoFundMe post created by Madinah College, a mosque in Brixton, to raise money for Ismail’s funeral

Young Vitor Godinho seen here smiling into the camera, seemingly a fit and healthy teenager

Tributes have been paid to Julie Alliot, 16, (pictured) who succumbed to respiratory problems in a Paris hospital after first developing a ‘slight cough’ 

Statistics released this morning revealed basic details about the first 108 people in Britain to have COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificate. Elderly people and men were the worst affected, the data showed

It was the first death of a child in the coronavirus crisis in Belgium, which has now recorded a total 705 deaths from the disease it causes, according to the latest official toll. 

Before the Belgian girl’s passing, the youngest European to die from the deadly illness was Vitor Godhino, a 14-year-old boy from Porto in Portugal.   

He died on the early hours of Sunday after falling ill from the virus.

Before Vito, 16-year-old French schoolgirl Julie Alliot was reported as the youngest Covid-19 death in Europe. 

She died at a hospital in Paris on 25 March.

It comes as the UK revealed that some 1,789 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have now died, while the total infection toll has surpassed 25,000.

However, the true size of the outbreak remains a mystery because of the UK’s controversial policy to only test patients in hospital.

The number of new deaths recorded today is twice as high as the 180 victims recorded yesterday. But there was only a 14 per cent jump in daily cases – up from 2,619. 

And the number of hospital admissions appears to have slowed, going up by a ‘constant amount’ each day, data shows – with around 1,000 new patients a day being treated by the NHS. 

One of today’s victims was only 19 years old and had no underlying conditions that made them more vulnerable to the life-threatening complications of the illness. 

Today’s development comes after government statisticians revealed this morning that the true death toll may be 24 per cent higher when people who died outside of NHS hospitals are added in to the count.

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