Suspected coronavirus victim, 47, 'didn't want to waste NHS time'

Tim Galley was found dead at home in Wales after developing a fever, his girlfriend says

Tim Galley
Tim Galley, a ???fit and healthy??? banker from Wales, has died at his home while in self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms. Photograph: Wales News Service

A fit and healthy man died from suspected coronavirus in north Wales after declining to call 111 because he thought the NHS would be too busy, his partner has said.

Quick guide

UK lockdown: what are the coronavirus restrictions?

What do the restrictions involve?

People in the UK will only be allowed to leave their home for the following purposes:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • One form of exercise a day ??? for example a run, walk, or cycle ??? alone or with members of your household
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home

Police will have the powers to enforce the rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings. To ensure compliance with the instruction to stay at home, the government will:

  • Close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship
  • Stop all gatherings of more than two people in public ??? excluding people you live with
  • Stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals

Parks will remain open for exercise, but gatherings will be dispersed.

Tim Galley, 47, was found dead at his home in Wrexham on Tuesday,10 days after developing a fever, according to his girlfriend.

Donna Cuthbert, 46, said she suggested that Galley ??? her ???beloved, best friend and soulmate??? ??? call the NHS 111 line for advice as his temperature rose, but he declined.

He said he had no underlying health problems and that the NHS would be too busy dealing with other people, she said.

???My amazing Tim didn???t want to waste the NHS time so chose not to phone and get help and rather stayed at home in isolation thinking he would get better.???

Public Health England has advised anyone who thinks they have symptoms of the coronavirus ??? a dry continuous cough or a high temperature ??? to phone 111 instead of attending a GP, pharmacy or hospital.

In an interview with North Wales Live, Cuthbert paid tribute to Galley as ???her future???, adding that he had ???a massive heart??? and was loved deeply by her children.

She said Galley???s illness started with a small tickle in his throat after going on a stag party on Saturday 14 March. She said he then became unwell and developed a fever three days later.

???Of course I was very worried about when he developed the fever, as I was worried about the coronavirus. But as he wanted to protect me I couldn???t go and visit him,??? she said. ???As he was getting steadily worse I asked him to phone for an ambulance but he kept on saying to me that he was fine, that he had no underlying health conditions and that they would be too busy dealing with other people.???

She messaged him on Monday night, concerned they would not be able to see each other for at least two weeks because of the UK-wide lockdown. His reply was: ???Don???t be silly, of course you will.???

Cuthbert added: ???On Tuesday morning I was panicking as Tim didn???t return my calls. I asked his neighbour to check on him as they had a key. They found him in bed.

???Paramedics in protective clothing came, and I just can???t bear the thought he was all alone.???

Cuthbert, who runs a wedding business, urged people to take seriously the government???s instructions to stay at home unless absolutely essential.

In a tribute on Facebook, she wrote: ???Tim was my best friend, my world, I???m going to miss you, my heart is broken into shattered pieces and my kids are truly devastated. I really don???t know how we will get through.

???Stay safer everyone. Tim followed the guidelines and took the precautions but still somehow this cruel, cruel virus we think took him. RIP Tim I???ll love you forever.???

Public Health Wales declined to confirm whether Galley had died from the coronavirus, adding: ???We do not comment on individual cases, we have a responsibility to protect individuals tested, and patients being treated, for novel coronavirus (Covid-19).???

In its latest update on Thursday afternoon, it said 28 people had died after testing positive for coronavirus in Wales, with six further deaths since Wednesday. There have been 741 confirmed coronavirus cases in Wales to date.