Daughters hold dad's hand one last time in emotional hospital goodbye
- Credit: Folkard family
A Norwich family has described the emotional goodbye after being allowed into hospital to be with their dying father and hold his hand one last time.
Edward Folkard died on January 13 at the age of 65 after being admitted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with Covid-19.
His daughters Katie and Sammy were able to be with him wearing full protective equipment and with their four siblings paid tribute to their hero and best friend.
The father-of-seven, who lived in Civic Gardens, Norwich, was taken to hospital on January 2 and was treated in the intensive care unit on a ventilator.
Youngest daughter Katie, 26, said: "The fact we were able to come up and see him. It meant the world.
"They only allowed a couple of family members to be with him to say goodbye which was heartbreaking for the rest of the family not being able to say goodbye but he wasn't alone.
"We held his hand in the late evening on January 13 and was allowed plenty of time to be able to say goodbye before he sadly slipped away.
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"I wore a suit to watch my dad pass away, it's the most heartbreaking thing I've ever had to do.
"He looked like he was sleeping.
"We followed all the rules. We wore our masks and did not go and meet each other. One year of not being able to spend time together and he's gone. It can happen out of the blue."
When her dad was taken to hospital the Aylsham Road resident launched a fundraising page to raise £2,000 for the hospital's intensive care staff.
She described the protective equipment as hot and suffocating and praised the amazing staff for their care as the work on a "silent war zone" caring for Covid patients.
Miss Folkard said; "The nurses and doctors that were there also cried with us and just seeing them do their jobs the way they have is incredible, those suits a so hot that you can easily pass out in them.
"The hospital staff inside were always running around collecting stuff needed for patients. It's like a silent war zone silent because everyone who was sick was asleep and this was only one of four wards.
"They have been doing an incredible job and to see them sweating up close and watching them go to everyone they can rushing here and there is definitely an eye opener. They are amazing how they are holding on.
"Even though I lost my dad, my best friend and the glue to my family there are many more families worrying about their loved ones who are putting their lives at risk to save our families."
Her siblings have also paid tribute to their father, a beloved grandfather of 23 grandchildren.
Miss Folkard's brother Jamie said: "You meant so much to me and I will miss you forever. Thank you for all that did for us all and until we are together again, you will leave a hole in me that can never be filled."
Brother Richard said: "You were not just my dad but my best friend. I will always cherish the memories we made."
Mr Folkard was also dad to Leela and a keen fisherman and while he enjoyed travel he only went abroad for the first time when he was 63, travelling to Turkey.
His eldest daughters Sammy, Kellie and Steph said his death was heartbreaking.
Sammy said: "Dad you were and always will be my hero, rest in everlasting peace fly high up there love you so much."
In her tribute, Kellie said: "Dad you are my true angel, my inspiration and I will miss you each and every day, I will never forget everything you have done for me and the memories we have will never die. I am truly heartbroken."
Steph added; "We are so sad and heartbroken to lose you dad. But we know you will always be with us."