A SON and daughter-in-law have paid tribute to a man who died in Prestwick having contracted coronavirus.

Tyrone and Christine Dwyer could not be by Henry Dwyer’s side during his final moments at Queens Care Home.

Tyrone said: “This virus has robbed me and you of the ability to say goodbye to my dad in person.”

Henry’s son and his wife were quarantined on their home island, the Isle of Man, when they were told he had tested positive for coronavirus.

The 88-year-old’s only child said: “My dad is the type of man to say don’t put yourself out on my account and things will be alright in the end.

“Right now things are not alright and this is not the end.”

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Henry was born and raised in Ballyhack, Ireland. As a teenager, he left home for London where he went on to join the merchant navy which took him all over the world.

Tyrone said: “My dad eventually met my mom Joan and decided to swallow the anchor and come ashore.”

Tyrone followed in his father’s footsteps, attending college to become an officer in the merchant navy.

He said that his dad always supported him.

He said: “Although he rarely told me that he was proud of my achievements, it has become apparent to me over the last few days through talking to some of his friends and work mates that he never shut up talking about how well I was doing, to the extent that he was told to shut up talking about his young fella.”

Henry always worked, and even after his retiral at the age of 67, he got himself a part-time job after Tyrone was shocked to find him watching Jeremy Kyle at home.

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When Henry and Joan separated amicably, he moved to Saltcoats to be near Tyrone and Christine.

Having suffered a stroke, his son and daughter-in-law were able to help organise his increasing care needs.

Christine praised the care team who took care of Henry while at home in Saltcoats, Carewatch and the NAC Alert Team.

She said Henry thought very highly of them.

After a stay in hospital, it was determined that it would be best for him to move somewhere with round-the-clock care and he moved to Queens Care Home in Prestwick.

Lockdown meant Tyrone and Christine could not visit Henry from the Isle of Man like they did regularly before.

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Tyrone and Christine had to watch Henry’s condition deteriorate via video calls.

They asked for him to be tested, worried that he had contracted coronavirus.

Christine said: “It’s breaking my heart to think he went through everything in his life, and survived and then a virus came and took him.

“To get to the end of his life, and we couldn’t even be with him to say goodbye and we still can’t go.

“It’s awful. Everyone is devastated. He was a well loved man, from a very caring family.”

Henry passed away on May 11.

A virtual ceremony was organised with family and friends watching from various parts of the world but, Christine said, it was no alternative to a ‘proper Irish send-off’.

The couple hope to hold a memorial for Henry in his hometown of Ballyhack once travel restrictions are eased.

In an eulogy Tyrone recorded for the live stream of the funeral, he said: “The Queens Care home provided for all my dad’s needs in a nice safe environment and in a dignified manner. But that alone is not everything.

“Through his failing health his quality of life was slowly taken away especially during these last few months.

“Although all life is precious I cannot but think that he is in a better place now and is at peace.”

Christine said: “Thank you to everyone who helped take care of Henry in the last few years as his health and mobility deteriorated.”

If you would like to pay tribute to someone you have lost, then you can here.

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