Covid-19 test plea from Wigan mum's grieving family

A heartbroken Wigan man has urged people to get themselves tested for Covid if they suffer any symptoms - in the hope of avoiding the same fate as his beloved ex.
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Ann Lancaster, 57, was the first borough resident to die in the disease’s second wave this autumn.

Her devastated relatives were unable to enter the Wigan Infirmary ward where she had been put on a ventilator. Instead they had to watch her through a window as her condition worsened.

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Ann had complained of back pain and went to hospital on Sunday September 27 and was told she had coronavirus on the Thursday.

Ann LancasterAnn Lancaster
Ann Lancaster

She died the following day - Friday October 2 - after her health deteriorated drastically.

Her funeral took place at Howe Bridge Crematorium with the funeral cortege setting off from Alan Jones Funeral Directors, in Hindley.

Around 30 people attended due to lockdown restrictions limiting the number of mourners that can attend funerals.

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Paying tribute to her, former partner Mark Lancaster described Ann as a woman who “lived life to the full” and who “lived for her children” who he said she devoted and adored.

The 59-year-old said: “We were told that Ann was the first to die in Wigan in the second wave of coronavrus.

“On the Friday she was okay but then wasn’t good and we went in and saw her on a ventilator in a ward. We had to watch her through the glass in the ward as weren’t allowed in. Ann died that day.”

“She was someone who loved life and was always happy and laughing. She was popular and had lots of friends and lived for her children who she adored.”

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Born in Hindley and living in Wigan all her life, Ann had worked in the past at Morrisons. She leaves behind two children, Kieron and Kelly, and four grandchildren,

Mark said he wanted to use Ann’s death to raise awareness of coronavirus and how deadly it can be and urged people to get tested if they had any symptoms as it could save their life.

He said: “You get people who talk about it and don’t think it’s real and downplay how serious it is.

“But when someone you know or in your family gets it, that’s when you realise how serious and deadly coronavirus can be.

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“So please do what you need to do and get a test if you have any symptoms.”

Hundreds of borough people died with Covid during the first wave of the pandemic beginning in March. Between July 3 and October 2 no Covid-related fatalities were recorded, but dozens more lives have been claimed since.