Man dies after 20 weeks in lockdown
A man believed to be one of the first people to have contracted coronavirus has died after suffering months of "hardship", his heartbroken mum has revealed.
British student Connor Reed, 26, had been working at a college in Wuhan in China teaching English when he fell ill with COVID-19 in November last year.
He first shrugged off the symptoms as flu and was off work bedridden in his apartment.
But he was later hospitalised after developing a serious cough and losing his voice.
He went on to make a recovery but Connor was found dead at his halls of residence at Bangor University in Wales last week, The Sun reports.
Police and paramedics were called to his home last weekend but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
His heartbroken mum Hayley, who lives at Bribie Island, Queensland, revealed he had never quite got over the "hardship" he had endured after catching coronavirus.
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'MONTHS OF HARDSHIP'
"Over the last six months he endured a lot of hardship in China, contracting COVID and having over 20 weeks' lockdown under strict conditions," she told the publication.
"He endured more lockdown than anyone we have even known - 16 weeks harsh lockdown in Wuhan, two weeks in Australia and a further three weeks in the UK."
Connor's symptoms first began on November 25 last year, just a few days after the suspected first ever case was recorded in a 55-year-old individual from Hubei province on November 17.
Describing his coronavirus symptoms earlier this year, Connor said he developed a cough which turned into a "pneumonia-type thing".
"I ended up in hospital as my breathing was as if I was breathing into a paper bag," he told The Sun in February.
The keen student, whose parents Hayley and Rod moved to Australia around a decade ago, said he was ill for around two weeks before making a full recovery.
"I didn't want to take any antibiotics and just drank hot toddies made of hot whiskey and honey, and that really helped my sore throat," he said.
"I'm walking proof you can survive the coronavirus."
After spending 76 days in lockdown in Wuhan and battling the virus, he travelled onto Brisbane to see his family and celebrated his birthday during his visit.
"Happy birthday Connor Reed it's so awesome to have you here for your birthday," his mum Hayley wrote on Facebook on July 20.
Three months later she announced his tragic death, writing Connor had "passed away in a tragic accident".
"He had such a wonderful smile, enthusiasm and love for life," she wrote on October 27.
"We are blessed to of had you in our lives if only for a very short time."
Local police said incident is not being treated as suspicious but an inquest has been opened to investigate his death.
As Hayley and her family will not be able to get to the UK - parts of which are about to enter a four week lockdown on November 5 as virus cases spike in England - for his funeral, they are also hosting one here - and have launched a fundraiser to give him "the funeral he deserves".
"To say Connor had a sense of adventure was an understatement," Hayley told the publication.
"When he told us he was going to learn Chinese we didn't really believe him but he knuckled down and went on his own to China and in a few years was speaking fluent Mandarin.
"We will never know where his ambition and drive would have taken him."
Parts of this article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Man dies after 20 weeks in lockdown