The husband of a British woman has described how he “lost half of himself” following her death after contracting coronavirus during a holiday to Bali.
Kimberley Finlayson, 52, from Hertfordshire – who had underlying health conditions – underwent two emergency operations in an Indonesian government hospital before her death.
Her husband Ken Finlayson said the couple were able to exchange goodbyes “for a few minutes” before she died on the Indonesian island on March 11.
He moved presenter Diana Speed to tears as he told the BBC: “I talked to her. She said that she loved me and we exchanged that for a few minutes and looked into one another’s eyes.”
“Myself and my four children are absolutely devastated to lose the most beautiful wife and mother,” he added.
“She’s so generous, she’s so full of life, she’s so powerful, courageous, supportive of all of us. I’ve lost half of myself.”
Finlayson, who tested negative for the virus, warned other UK citizens about travelling overseas and urged them to “be strong” for their families in the months to come.
He said: “The lesson for the British public to realise is that if you go to these places then people really mean well but you’re giving up that level of care which we expect and you are playing Russian roulette with your lives if you become critical.
“Mistakes were being made. I don’t believe… if this had happened in Barnet Hospital, I believe our great NHS would have saved Kimberley.
“I don’t think she would have been anywhere near as critical in the first place.
“Tragically in the UK there will be many people who will suffer, I’m sure, over the months ahead. You need to be strong for your family and the memory of your loved one who died in such tragic circumstance.”
He added that there was an irony in the now-familiar phrase “underlying health issues” – referring to his wife, who had diabetes.
He said: “I don’t know many people in their 50s who haven’t received medication, haven’t had some health issues. My wife is the most incredibly generous, loving mum.”
Colleagues of Kimberley, founded of a dental communications company, praised her “passion, creativity and determination”.
An online statement said: “Those fortunate enough to know her will remember a whirlwind of energy and ideas – and an ability to make things happen that few can match.”
As of 7am on Saturday morning, there have been 177 deaths within the UK of patients who have contracted Covid-19.