Great-grandfather, 63, tragically dies of coronavirus just three weeks after beating cancer

A grieving widow has revealed her husband died of coronavirus just three weeks after beating cancer.

Eugene Courtney, 63, fell ill just two days after celebrating getting the all-clear from prostrate cancer. Just 18 days later he died at Royal Lancashire Infirmary.

His wife of 13 years Kim said ‘I will spend my entire life missing him’ as she described feeling ‘totally empty’ after his death last week.

The couple celebrated Mr Courtney beating prostate cancer on January 4, but he suddenly fell ill just two days later and was rushed to hospital by ambulance. 

Doctors at Royal Lancaster Infirmary initially thought he had suffered from a heart attack but he later tested positive for coronavirus.

Just days later his condition was rapidly deteriorating and he was placed on a ventilator in an attempt to save his life. He struggled to breathe on his own and his kidneys were failing.

Kim Courtney (left), 61, said she felt 'totally empty' after her husband of 13 years Eugene (right), 63, died three weeks after his Covid-19 diagnosis.

Kim Courtney (left), 61, said she felt 'totally empty' after her husband of 13 years Eugene (right), 63, died three weeks after his Covid-19 diagnosis.

Kim Courtney (left), 61, said she felt ‘totally empty’ after her husband of 13 years Eugene (right), 63, died three weeks after his Covid-19 diagnosis.

The couple celebrated Mr Courtney beating prostate cancer on January 4, but he suddenly fell ill just two days later and was rushed to hospital by ambulance. Pictured, on their wedding day in 2008

The couple celebrated Mr Courtney beating prostate cancer on January 4, but he suddenly fell ill just two days later and was rushed to hospital by ambulance. Pictured, on their wedding day in 2008

The couple celebrated Mr Courtney beating prostate cancer on January 4, but he suddenly fell ill just two days later and was rushed to hospital by ambulance. Pictured, on their wedding day in 2008

Mrs Courtney said she was left feeling ‘totally devastated’ after hearing her husband’s final words, ‘don’t worry wee woman, I love you’.

She said after he beat cancer they thought ‘nothing bad’ could happen to them, as the worst had already passed. 

Mrs Courtney, from Morecambe, Lancs., said: ‘When he got prostate cancer I thought that was the most devastating thing in the world, but he was so positive.

‘He told me as long as we were together, we would be fine. I was his wee woman, and he was my wee man.

‘When he beat the cancer I was so overjoyed, it was the best news I’d ever heard. I thought nothing bad could happen to us now.’ 

Doctors at Royal Lancaster Infirmary initially thought he had suffered from a heart attack but he later tested positive for coronavirus. Pictured, Mr Courtney after he was cleared of cancer

Doctors at Royal Lancaster Infirmary initially thought he had suffered from a heart attack but he later tested positive for coronavirus. Pictured, Mr Courtney after he was cleared of cancer

Doctors at Royal Lancaster Infirmary initially thought he had suffered from a heart attack but he later tested positive for coronavirus. Pictured, Mr Courtney after he was cleared of cancer

Mr Courtney died on Jan 25 after 18 days in hospital. Mrs Courtney was by his side in his final moments and held his hand for nearly two hours after he passed because she ‘didn’t want to let him go’. 

She said: ‘He was so ill. I’ve never seen anyone like that before. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through.

‘I kept telling myself he was going to make it but when I walked into the ICU for the first time and I saw all the patients I was terrified.

‘I saw him laid on the bed. All I could see was his body which was going up and down on his bed which was the only thing keeping him alive – but he wasn’t alive really.

‘I gave him lots of kisses and told him he was wonderful and told him I’d always love him.

Mr Courtney was clapped out of hospital and rang the bell to celebrate the end of his cancer treatment at the start of last month

Mr Courtney was clapped out of hospital and rang the bell to celebrate the end of his cancer treatment at the start of last month

Mr Courtney was clapped out of hospital and rang the bell to celebrate the end of his cancer treatment at the start of last month

‘I told him he’d always be my wee man and I would always be his wee woman, and thanked him for everything he’d done. I will spend my entire life missing him.’

 Mr Courtney was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2020, but had kept spirits up and told Kim as long as they were together they could ‘fight anything head on’.

While he was going through radiotherapy treatment at Royal Preston Hospital, they had made an offer on a bungalow where they planned to retire and live out their ‘golden years’.

They had also planned to buy a motorhome and wanted to travel around Europe together during the warm summer months.

But the widow said she had to rescind the offer and the only plans she was making were for his funeral.

The grandmother-of-ten said: ‘When you get bad news like that, you just try to forget. I remember one day he just held me and started crying.

While he was going through radiotherapy treatment at Royal Preston Hospital, they had made an offer on a bungalow where they planned to retire and live out their 'golden years'

While he was going through radiotherapy treatment at Royal Preston Hospital, they had made an offer on a bungalow where they planned to retire and live out their 'golden years'

While he was going through radiotherapy treatment at Royal Preston Hospital, they had made an offer on a bungalow where they planned to retire and live out their ‘golden years’

‘But he put on a brave face and said he was going to beat it. He told me he would have at least 20 of our best years still together.

‘He got prostate cancer but said I shouldn’t worry and that as long as we were together, we’d fight anything head on.

‘He was going through treatment and said we would get through it all and we’d plan the rest of our lives.

‘We’d get a motorhome and travel around the country. We made a bid on a bungalow. We were going to move into this new house.

‘He said he wanted to just plan our future and live the rest of our lives together. I’m so hurt for him because he worked so hard all his life, and he had all these plans. He’d beaten the cancer, we had so much to look forward to.

‘He worked his whole life, and we were just preparing for the next stage of our lives. Our golden years. To have it all whipped away. He deserved so much more. Now all I’m left to plan is his funeral.’

The couple met on Valentine’s Day in 2004 when Mr Courtney surprised his future wife at the Shell garage where she worked as a cashier with flowers, a teddy bear and some sparkly shoes.

Taxi driver Mr Courtney would see Kim every so often but his advances were unsuccessful until November that year when they shared a kiss on a night out.

They married in 2008 which Mrs Courtney said was the ‘happiest day’ of her life.

She said: ‘He was the kindest, most lovely soul in the world. The love of my life. Marrying him was the happiest day of my life.

‘He was generous, and never thought about himself and only ever about what I wanted and what he thought would make me happy.

‘I still expect him to walk through the doors each day, I don’t know what life is without him.’

Mr Courtney, originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, is survived by six children, 14 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. 

Link hienalouca.com

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