A devoted father who was “fit and healthy” and recovering from the coronavirus died gasping for breath as his wife and ten-year-old daughter watched helplessly.
Dom Merrix seemed to have overcome the virus, but his condition worsened and the 48-year-old suddenly collapsed at his home in Portsmouth on Thursday morning.
The aspiring football coach was isolated to himself more than two weeks ago because he had experienced symptoms of the virus.
He lived on the ground floor of the family home and his wife Sarah, 44, and daughter Ellie-Mai lived upstairs.
Dom Merrix (pictured above with wife Sarah and daughter Ellie-Mai) passed away on Thursday
Dom lived on the ground floor of the family home to stay away from his daughter Ellie-Mae and wife Sarah (Dom and Ellie-Mai are pictured together above)
Sarah called an ambulance while Dom was having trouble breathing. Paramedics arrived at their home and helped Dom into the ambulance.
Tragically, he suffered a heart attack in the ambulance, and despite courageous medical efforts, he died before reaching Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Dom was not officially diagnosed with the coronavirus, but his family and friends think he had the disease.
Now a family friend has warned that anyone can die from the disease and has urged people to stay indoors.
Rachel Hibbert said people don’t think it will happen to them because they are young.
Dom (pictured above with wife Sarah) felt normal when he got up last week and even flipped through social media
Dom recently lost his job at energy company SSE, where he worked for 15 years, he is pictured above with daughter Ellie-Mae
The 37-year-old added, “Dom was fit and young and killed him. It tore up his family and they are devastated.
WHAT ARE THE CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS?
The virus, called COVID-19, is passed from person to person through droplets when an infected person exhales, coughs, or sneezes.
It can also spread through contaminated surfaces such as door handles or railings.
Coronavirus infections have a wide variety of symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
Mild cases can cause cold-like symptoms, including a sore throat, headache, fever, cough, or trouble breathing.
Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory disease, kidney failure and death.
Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure.
“This virus takes the lives of young, fit, healthy people – not just those with underlying health problems … It brings the fear of God into me that Dom can fall like this.”
On the morning of his death, Dom woke up and seemed “normal,” said Rachel, scrolling through Twitter and even retweeted a message in support of the NHS hours before he died.
Speaking of the ordeal on behalf of Dom’s family, Rachel said he texted his daughter to open the windows because he was having trouble breathing before texting his wife for help.
“Sarah came down and found him on her hands and knees struggling to breathe. When the ambulance arrived, they put him on the trolley and asked him to sit back, but he couldn’t.
‘That was it. Then the doors of the ambulance closed. They no longer saw him alive.
His heart stopped and the paramedics spent twenty minutes outside the house trying to get it going again. By the time he got to the hospital, they couldn’t bring him back. ‘
She said his daughter had looked out the window of the building.
Dom recently lost his job at energy company SSE, where he worked for 15 years.
Rachel has since started one fundraising to help Dom’s grieving loved ones pay for his funeral at Portchester Crematorium.
And within two days, the call attracted donations from nearly 300 people, raising over £ 6,000.
“Sarah and Ellie-Mai have been overwhelmed with all the support,” added Rachel. “They are overwhelmed. Dom’s death left a huge hole in their lives.
“They can now have the funeral Dom deserves. It also doesn’t worry them about money for a few months. ‘
Dom, who was a Portsmouth Football Club fan and long-term subscription holder, has a custom blue Pompey chest made.
Pompey’s director Markeylin said he was shocked by the death of the aspiring amateur football coach and hoped the Blues community would support the family.
He added, “I was shocked to learn that Dom Merrix passed away last week. Like many Pompey fans, I knew Dom Covid-19 had contracted, but I thought he had made a full recovery.
“Both personally – and on behalf of my family and the club – my sincere thoughts and condolences go out to Sarah and Ellie-Mai. Unfortunately, too many families have lost loved ones in recent weeks. ‘