Daughter's biggest regret after Melbourne father dies of coronavirus

Yahoo News Staff
·3-min read

The daughter of one of the victims of Melbourne’s coronavirus crisis has revealed she regrets not doing more to warn her father of the deadly virus.

Haralambos Bakirtzidis, 80, died in Footscray hospital following an 11-day fight on a ventilator after contracting COVID-19, Nine News reported.

According to his daughter Athina, her father continued to leave his home without a mask, visiting the TAB and his local shopping centre in Maidstone despite the recent surge in cases, believing Victoria had beaten the virus after the first wave.

Haralambos Bakirtzidis died in hospital after continuing to leave the house amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Haralambos Bakirtzidis before and after contracting the virus. Source: Nine News

"I wish I could have tied him to his chair at home. I wish I could have yelled at him. I wish I had done a lot more and said 'Dad, no. If you go (out) this is how it will affect us’," Athina told Nine News.

She said her father, who arrived in Australia from Greece in the 1970s, had misinterpreted what medics told him initially, believing he had the flu. Athina was eventually made to translate to him via video call that he had developed pneumonia.

Her mother, who had also contracted coronavirus, was the only one allowed to be by his side.

On Thursday, Victoria announced five further deaths from coronavirus – the most in a single day for any state since the pandemic began.

It took the state’s death toll to 49, with 22 of those in just the last week. Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton continuously warns to expect many more deaths as the daily cases continue to rise.

Pictured is Athina speaking to Nine News about her father's coronavirus death in Melbourne.
Athina says she regrets not warning her father more about the dangers of leaving his home. Source: Nine News

Athina is now warning other families to ensure their older relatives aren’t becoming complacent and understand the magnitude of the threat posed.

“Dad can't even have the funeral he deserves. I do feel robbed because I had so much more I wanted to share with him,” she said.

"It will take our family a long time to recover. We may never recover."

Dire warning to Victorians over virus threat

Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday warned if the state’s coronavirus crisis continues at its current trajectory, “it will effect every family”, leading to a surge in deaths and “absolute tragedy”.

He also warned young Australians to heed warnings that the virus is affecting not just the older generations.

“This is not just something that affects people that are frail-aged," Mr Andrews said, pointing to the death of a man in his 50s confirmed on Thursday.

“It would be wrong to assume that young people are somehow immune to this. Even otherwise fit and healthy young people can get sick and can die from this virus."

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said data from the start of July showed a quarter of the state's cases were people in their 20s.

About 20 per cent of patients in hospital were under 50 and include four children. The youngest is under nine.

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