Coronavirus: Ex-police officer named as 59-year-old who died after testing positive for virus

Mary Matthews wrote on Facebook that her husband Nick had died in hospital after contracting coronavirus. (Picture: Facebook)

A 59-year-old man who died after testing positive for coronavirus has been named as a former police officer.

Nick Matthews, from Nailsea, Somerset, died in the early hours of Saturday at Bristol Royal Infirmary, his wife Mary wrote on Facebook.

She told the website Nailsea People that her husband had been taken into hospital with breathing difficulties on Thursday.

The 59-year-old retired from his work as a police officer 10 years ago after suffering a heart attack.

His death came as the UK death toll hit 35 after another 14 people lost their lives in just 24 hours.

Nailsea People reported that Matthews was diagnosed with pneumonia at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and was admitted to intensive care after showing other signs for coronavirus.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, his wife wrote: “Today at 3am I lost my life partner and soul mate but most of all my best friend.

“Charlotte, Ben and I are beyond proud to have had such a big character in our lives. As a family we are still currently in isolation until the coronavirus test results come back.

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She went on: “Someone will post again when we have more information. In the meantime, I know some of you would like to visit, but please for you and your families safety, stay away until we get the all clear.”

She later added that the test had come back positive and urged those who had been in contact with the family to self-isolate and seek advice.

Mary Matthews paid tribute to husband Nick via Facebook. (Picture: Facebook)

“People who may have come into contact with either Nick or me during the past two weeks need to self-isolate and get advice,” she said.

“Although he tested positive, until a post-mortem examination, we can’t say that was cause of death at the moment. I don’t want to panic people, but I do want people to take extra precautions.”

The couple had returned from a week’s holiday in Fuerteventura on February 29.

In a statement, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust said: “Sadly, we can confirm that a man who was being cared for at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and had tested positive for Covid-19, has died.

“The patient who died was in his late-fifties and had underlying health conditions.

“The family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. We will not be commenting further and ask that everybody respects the family’s privacy.”

Nick Matthews was admitted to Bristol Royal Infirmary on Thursday with breathing difficulties. (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Councillor Don Davies, the leader of North Somerset Council, said the authority’s “heartfelt condolences” were with the family and all that knew him.

“I understand that the family have requested privacy at this difficult time and I ask that everyone respects their wishes,” Cllr Davies said.

“I am sure the news will be met with sadness in the wider community and it is important that everyone remains calm and follows the latest national advice on the steps needed to reduce the spread of infection.”