THE distraught fiancee of a 'big bear' of a man who has died from COVID-19 at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, is warning people that no-one is safe from the virus.

Engineer David Harris, 65, who had underlying health issues, had taken all the sensible precautions recommended by the Government.

It is believed Trace Weisner, who lived with him in Wellington, also contracted the coronavirus, although she has since recovered.

Trace, who has no idea how they caught the virus, said: "In the run to it, he was being very careful.

"Then on Tuesday (March 17), he didn't feel very well and two days later started getting a bit of a cough.

"I was feeling unwell too and he said, 'I think we've got it'.

"On Sunday morning, he looked awful. He hadn't slept all night, his breathing was laboured. I called an ambulance.

"David walked into the ambulance and said, 'Trace will come with me'. They said, 'No, you'll have to go by yourself'. It was the last time I saw him."

An hour later, Trace rang her fiancee's phone, which was answered by a doctor, who said they were putting David into a coma and on a ventilator.

She said: "They said, 'You can talk to David really quickly'. David said, 'Don't worry, they're looking after me. I love you'.

"He texted me the same message. But I wasn't allowed to go and see him. That was the last I heard from him.

"He was sitting here with me on Sunday morning, then he was gone by 2pm on Wednesday (March 25)."

Trace said David was active despite being a "big man" and rarely suffered minor illnesses such as colds.

"He always told me, 'I'll never leave you'. But he did," added Trace.

"I'd never thought for a second something like this would take him.

"I have no idea how he caught it. That's the scary part.

"We had been talking about Italy. He said, 'Trace, this is going to go'. We took more precautions than most people."

Somerset County Gazette:
David and Trace

The couple had face masks and gloves, David would wipe the car door handle, made contactless payments and insisted on regular handwashing

"We'd just moved house and were starting to take it easy," said Trace. "All our dreams are gone.

"Now David's being added as a statistic. He isn't a statistic. He was a partner, a father, a grandfather.

"There was nothing special about him in a lot of ways. But he was special to me.

"He was just an ordinary chap doing ordinary things. It's just so cruel.

"We had the best time together, but it doesn't seem enough.

"He'd always hold my hand. He'd phone me, even if he just went out for a pint of milk.

"He was a romantic. He proposed to me in a book he had had made with things like saying why he loved me."

The couple enjoyed motorbiking together and David was a member of Cheddar Valley Advanced Motocycling, as well as holding a private pilot's licence.

As well as Trace, he also leaves two grown-up children from his previous marriage, two stepchildren, 11 grandchildren, two sisters and his beloved dog, Ruby.

David's funeral is at Taunton Deane Crematorium on Wednesday, April 15 at 1pm, with arrangements by Quantock Services.

"It's painful that there will only be family there because of the restrictions," said Trace.

"It feels as though you've betrayed your loved ones.

"But it needs to be done to keep people safe.

"It's easy to get complacent. We're not past it."

Somerset County Gazette:
David was a keen motorcyclist