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'Get your heads out of the sand': Warning as coronavirus claims UK’s youngest victim

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Craig Ruston died at 6.20am on Monday after his chest infection was diagnosed as Covid-19. (Facebook/Mummy With MND)

A friend of Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim has warned people to “be vigilant” over the potential dangers of the illness.

Posting on Facebook, the family of Craig Ruston, 45, said he died at 6.20am on Monday after his chest infection was diagnosed as Covid-19.

They said Ruston, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in June 2018, was "not ready to go".

In another post, on the Mummy With MND Facebook page, a friend paid tribute to the father and his family, saying they “had lots of precious time left”.

A hand sanitiser station at the entrance to the Bank of England in London, as the UK's coronavirus death toll rose to 71. (PA)
Countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus. (PA)

The friend’s post added: “This beautiful family had lots of precious time left.

“The 'vulnerable' are people like me and Craig; parents of young children. Get your heads out of the sand. Start acting in our interests too.

“Don't you dare tell me that I'm taking this too seriously. Stay home, wash your hands, be vigilant, help us to stay alive. Do not carry on as normal. Please.”

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The family’s post, shared on Ruston’s Me And My MND page on Tuesday and signed by his wife Sally and his "amazing girls", said: "My Amazing Craig passed away yesterday morning at 6.20am.

"We are truly heartbroken. His fight with MND was not ready to be over.

"At diagnosis in June 2018 he was given roughly two years to live. He was pushing that back.

"Craig was not ready to go.”

His family said Ruston was taken ill on Tuesday last week, and spent six days in isolation.

They added: "How dare that take Craig who was already facing this, the most vile and evil of diseases.

"Craig's wish upon death was to give his brain to the Oxford Brain Bank. It was to be used specifically for MND research and Craig was so keen to do this.

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"He'd give anything in the name of research. Sadly this can no longer happen.

"How dare this virus take this from Craig.”

Ruston’s family said he was a "wonderfully kind and caring" person who welcomed everyone.

They said he had still been doing "everything in his power" to raise awareness and fight against MND.

A sign on a closed restaurant in London after the government urged Britons to avoid public gatherings. (PA)

They added: "To those of you that knew Craig, before his MND diagnosis, after his diagnosis and to all that follow this his blog, I'm sure you knew or could tell what a wonderfully kind and caring person he was.

"He welcomed everyone. There were no airs and graces with Craig.

"He loved the world. He absorbed the world. He was one of the most intelligent people I know that would absorb information and could somehow explain just about anything.”

Ruston was among 14 new coronavirus-related deaths announced in England on Tuesday, bringing the total UK death toll to 71.

Boris Johnson has said the government will do “whatever it takes” to support the economy through the outbreak, as fears about its impact on businesses and jobs continue to grow.