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By Hollie Bone

 

A grieving dad who watched a group of teenagers drinking in the street minutes after receiving a call to tell him his ‘father figure’ had died of Covid-19 caught on a single supermarket visit has filmed a tearful plea for people to take the virus seriously.

Dad-of-four Steve Legge, 47, had just received the call to say stepdad Kev Raynor, 59, had died of coronavirus after allegedly contracting the illness while shopping at Aldi when he looked out of the window of his home in Bath, Somerset, and saw the teens hanging around together.

The property maintenance business owner, who was raised by Kev in Barnsley, South Yorks after his mum Aileen, 68, separated from his biological father when he was a baby, said he was left furious people could be ‘carrying on as normal’ amid the pandemic and his devastating loss – and so instantly filmed the heartfelt request for Brits to stay at home.

Steve, who is currently self-isolating with wife Sabrina, 42, and children, Chloe, 17, Dylan, 16, Colston, 13 and Jessica, nine, believes the only place his stepdad, who died on April 6, could have caught the virus was during the last trip to Aldi he made before the lockdown just two days before he was admitted to hospital with a temperature and breathing problems.

Dad-of-three and grandfather-of-five Kev spent three days on a ventilator before showing promising signs he could breathe on his own again – only to take a turn for the worst just hours after coming off oxygen and passing away four days later when he suffered organ failure.

Steve said: “Kev brought me up from being about six years old, so he was my first real father figure.

“Even after he split with my mum he remained in our lives and he would be round at my mum’s at least three or four times a week.

“My childhood memories are filled with him and things he did for us as a family – and when I grew up we went fishing together.

“He was a big strong guy, growing up I thought he was superman.

“I never thought for a second that this virus would get a man as strong as him.

“The day after lockdown he went straight to Aldi after leaving my mum’s because he was worried he didn’t have enough in.

“Two days later he was admitted to hospital gasping for his breath and dripping with sweat from a temperature.

“I know what Kev was like and I can imagine him just quickly grabbing one of the trolleys from the carpark that hadn’t been disinfected – he hadn’t been anywhere else so there’s no other explanation as to where he picked up the virus from.

“When I decided to post the video, I’d just had the worst call in the world from my heartbroken mum telling me Kev had died and I looked out the window to see four or five kids walking down the street laughing and swigging beer.

“I was so angry and upset – I felt like screaming at them and telling them that I’d just lost my stepdad.

“Do people really need to lose their own loved ones before they take this seriously?”

Born and raised in Barnsley with his mum and Kev, Steve remained close with his stepdad even after Kev split with his mum and Steve moved down south to live in Bath.

On the first weekend the UK was put into lockdown, Kev arrived at Aileen’s house for his usual coffee and catch up – but she told him he needed to go back home immediately and to call if he needed anything.

Instead, Kev decided to make a last minute trip to Aldi to get some final essentials, but only the next day rang Aileen complaining of feeling ill.

By March 30, the dad-of-two, who usually insisted on having ‘no fuss’, was gasping for breath, dripping with sweat and telling Aileen to phone an ambulance.

When he tested positive for Covid-19 at Barnsley Hospital the following day, Kev was put into an induced coma and onto a ventilator for three days before medics believed he was showing promising signs and decided to see if he could breathe on his own on April 2

But after coming off the ventilator, Kev developed an infection and Aileen was asked to sign a ‘do not resuscitate’ order as his condition deteriorated to the point where his kidneys began to fail.

The much-loved family man passed away in hospital the following Monday, April 6.

Now Steve’s video pleading with the nation to take the pandemic seriously and properly isolate has wracked up 950,000 views and 45,000 shares on Facebook.

Steve said: “We are absolutely distraught.

“We went from a glimmer of hope to having a call saying his kidneys were failing.

“None of us could even be there with him, the last time any of us ever spoke to him was when he told my mum that the paramedics had arrived the day he was admitted to hospital.

“Not being able to be there for him and tell him I loved him is the most heart wrenching feeling in the world.

“But I’m still taking the dog out once a day for 30 mins and seeing people carrying on as normal, I can’t believe it.

“People are gathering in the town centre or they’re sat out in parks having picnics.

“I feel like showing these people pictures of Kev and telling them what we have lost, and asking them if they want the same thing to happen to their loved ones.

“My wife works as a radiology assistant and I’m petrified every time she goes out the door for work that she will come home ill.

“You can catch this virus anywhere, what happened to Kev has shown that, I don’t know what more can be said to make people understand.”

Steve’s mum Aileen, a mum-of-three and retired seamstress, has also paid tribute to her ex-husband, who she said stayed part of her life ever since they broke up 20 years ago.

The 68-year-old added: “He has been a big part of my life for over 40 years.

“Even when we split up he still came to our house like he was coming home.

“He was easy to get along with and he was always there for me if I needed something.

“He didn’t always make much notice of me, and Kev being Kev had to go to the supermarket just to make sure he had enough in.

“That was the start of it and now he’s gone. I can’t believe it.”