A FUNDRAISER has been launched to support the family of a Redditch couple who both died 11 days apart after contracting Covid-19.

Carol and her husband Nigel Joyce, both 64 from Church Hill, fell ill around the same time earlier this month.

Their son Kevin Joyce, aged 29, said his mother had underlying health conditions and previously shielded with Nigel during the pandemic.

Carol and Nigel's deaths came as a huge shock to Kevin and his brother Paul, who say they were very close to their parents.

Carol, Kevin and Nigel Joyce

Carol, Kevin and Nigel Joyce

Kevin told the Advertiser: "They both fell ill quickly - they thought it must have been a cold."

They were both taken to the Alexandra Hospital on February 1 when the brothers realised they had become very poorly.

"My mum had health conditions anyway and had been in and out of hospital with one thing or another," Kevin said.

"We were worried about both of them if they were to catch Covid."

Carol's health worsened and she passed away of February 9, with her sons holding her hands during her final moments.

Nigel was in a nearby ward and the brothers were permitted to visit to tell him the devastating news.

The brothers hoped their dad would pull through after showing some promising signs, but his health also started to deteriorate. He later died on February 20.

Carol and Nigel, who were married in 1985, leave behind two sons and four grandchildren.

Nigel and Carol Joyce

Nigel and Carol Joyce

Kevin said: "It was hard news to swallow and it has been a struggle. Me and my brother have lost both our parents in such a short space of time.

"We were such a close family - we haven't experienced anything like it. It's the worst time of our lives."

Nigel used to work at the Rover plant in Longbridge before becoming a full time carer for Carol. Kevin says he "gave his life for her".

Kevin described his mother as a humble person, with one of the most "infectious smiles" and his dad as a generous man who was "full of jokes".

Kevin's cousin Jordan Flynn decided to start a fundraiser to help the family financially. He said: "I am aiming for the funds to help ease the emotional stress of money in such a terrible and completely out of the blue situation as two cherished and dear family members have been taken far too soon." People can donate to the fundraiser here.

Kevin added: "The virus is still here and having devastating affects on people. You never think it's going to happen to you."