A “fit and healthy” teenage wrestler died two days after testing positive for coronavirus.
Cameron Wellington, 19, from Walsall, West Midlands, died less than 48 hours after a test confirmed he had contracted COVID-19.
He was diagnosed with coronavirus last Tuesday, and his mother Jane dropped him at the doors of A&E at Walsall Manor Hospital the following evening as he was struggling with his breathing.
But an hour later she received a phone call from staff to say his oxygen levels had plummeted. She was told he “wasn’t expected to last an hour”.
The teenager, known to friends and family as “Cam”, was put on dialysis and placed in intensive care.
Doctors operated on his lungs before he was taken to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, where surgeons operated on his heart.
However, he died a short time later, with his parents by his side.
Cameron, a professional wrestler, is survived by his siblings Rebecca, Ryan, Logan, Lucy and Mia.
His family said he was a talented artist as well as being passionate about wrestling – they said he had a “cracking career” ahead of him.
His mother told BirminghamLive: "The whole situation has come as a massive shock to us. Cam was overweight but he was fit and otherwise healthy.
"My husband was diagnosed with COVID last Monday. Both Cameron and I then developed symptoms and tested positive the following day.
"At first Cam had a cough, but his condition quickly got worse. Cam was adamant he was fine but I could tell – the colour was draining from him.”
She said she dropped Cameron at A&E with a note to give to health workers as “he was too breathless to speak”.
She said: "I told him I'd see him again soon and I went home. But within an hour I had another call – Cam's oxygen levels had plummeted to 10%. He was put on oxygen and placed into a coma in ITU.
"The hospital told us they didn't think he'd last an hour. He did – he battled back – they put him on dialysis and his oxygen levels started to pick back up. Because of his age they wanted to give him a real chance.
"His lungs were operated on – they were really trying to keep him alive. He was then sent up to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for more specialist care.
"In the early hours of Thursday he had another operation, this time on his heart.
"At 9.20am we had a Skype call from the hospital, they showed us Cameron on the screen and advised us to head up to the hospital.
"They allowed us to go in and sit with him. We had to wear protective suits, masks, hats, gloves and visors. We spent a few hours with him before he passed away at 2.50pm."
Mrs Wellington said: "We as a family are totally heartbroken and yet immensely proud of him. He put up a massive fight.
"Before lockdown he was in talks to travel to Japan for his wrestling. He had a cracking career ahead of him and he was a hugely talented artist. He was good at every single thing he turned his hand to.”
His father Norman said: "He was a bubbly, bright, happy person. Everyone warmed to him. I just want him back."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Cameron's funeral.
Watch: Can you catch coronavirus twice?
Coronavirus: what happened today
Click here to sign up to the latest news and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter