‘Genuine, warm-hearted’ LGBT+ activist tragically passes away due to coronavirus
The boxes towered over Paul Quigley, an LGBT+ activist in London, but he didn’t seem to mind.
He reached up high to grab a handful of badges bearing the 17-24-30 National Hate Crime Awareness Week logo and began to count them with a smile, cracking jokes with fellow volunteers all afternoon.
But after being rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties, Quigley passed away Friday.
He had been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus strain rampaging through Britain and the world.
Loved ones pay tribute to ‘much loved’ LGBT+ volunteer.
Countless community leaders, fellow volunteers and loved ones came together Sunday to mourn the loss of a “fabulous friend” and “genuine, warm-hearted bloke”, said Mark Healey, founder and CEO of 17-24-30 National HCAW.
Healey confirmed on a moving Facebook post that Quigley was sped to the emergency room on March 11, struggling to breathe. Clinicians diagnosed him with COVID-19.
His condition worsened later that night and he was sedated and put on a ventilator, Healey said.
“He was such a lovely guy with loads of friends, a sharp witty sense of humour and beaming smile,” Healey recounted.
“He didn’t tolerate fools and would be quite outspoken at the Lewisham LGBT forum that we attended together.”
The online forum Quigley had spent many evenings logging-into to chat to friends and keep up with his local community also paid tribute to him.
It is with extreme sadness that we have to announce that we’ve just heard that one of our #Lewisham LGBT Forum members Paul Quigley has died from #Coronavirus #COVID19
Paul was also a much loved volunteer with @RainbowBoroughs
Sending out Love & Light 💔
❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 #RIP pic.twitter.com/x1tOSi6ndq
— Lewisham LGBT Forum (@LGBTLewisham) March 22, 2020
“Paul was a much-loved volunteer as Rainbow Boroughs,” Lewisham LGBT Forum wrote on Twitter, “sending out love and light.”
While others stressed, in the wake of Quigley’s passing, that following the advice from lawmakers and health authorities to minimise social contact is crucial as the pandemic pelts the vulnerable.
“Just found out that someone I was having a laugh and beer with just seven weeks ago in London has died today of the coronavirus,” James wrote on Twitter.
“RIP Paul Quigley. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING.
“Isolate, distance when you must food shop, wash hands properly and seek medical aid if you show ANY signs.”
Coronavirus patient: ‘I don’t want anyone to go through what I am going through right now.’
As the coronavirus outbreak winnows fear and paranoia across nations and many world leaders enforce harsh measures – such as the shuttering of theatres, restaurants and clubs – the public is being urged to shrink contact with others.
Front-line medical staff are doing all they can to prepare for an incoming wave of coronavirus patients. Worrisome for healthcare providers, however, is people treating the pandemic like business as usual.
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One gay man who acquired the virus voiced his concern to the community, detailing his symptoms: “I don’t want anyone to go through what I am going through right now.”
In a lithe hospital gown, Tarek Soliman, a costume designer, urged people to “stay home”.
He added: “This isn’t something small we are dealing with, be responsible and stay home. I don’t want anyone to go through what I am going through now.