Published: 06:00, 03 March 2021
| Updated: 06:49, 03 March 2021
A man who lost both of his parents within six hours of each other to Covid-19 says he takes comfort from knowing "they are still together".
Daryl Gilley, from Sittingbourne, endured the heartache of losing first his father, Chris, then just hours later his mother, Stella, in January.
The couple, who lived in Queenborough, on Sheppey, were childhood sweethearts who were devoted to their boys Daryl and his brother, Richard.
After Stella was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998, Chris juggled three jobs to support the family before becoming her permanent carer in 2002.
The family all caught Covid-19 around Christmas and, while Daryl was recovering, his parents kept quiet that they were also ill until his dad was taken to hospital.
He was there for three days before discharging himself to care for Stella.
But they both became more ill and were taken to Medway hospital in Gillingham. Chris died on January 14 and Stella passed away six hours later on January 15.
Now Daryl is taking part in a Run with Mum fundraising challenge, to complete 140,000 steps in March, in memory of his mother to raise money for the Kent MS Therapy Centre in Canterbury, which supported Stella and provided respite for Chris.
Daryl said: “We are supporting the Run with Mum event in my mum’s memory as she really enjoyed the facilities at the Kent MS Therapy Centre.
“You could always tell when she was going as she was noticeably happier in the lead up to it.
“Dad used to like buying gifts from the shop and Karen, the charity’s support manager, was also a great help to my dad sorting various benefits and care forms which baffled him.
"The centre also proved to be a great social outlet for them both.”
"They spent their lives together from early teens and now they have passed, it's comforting to know they are still together."
He added: “I hope to raise some money, but more than anything if I can raise the profile of the centre then hopefully someone may see what is available and they might benefit from the services as well.”
Daryl, in announcing the fundraiser on a JustGiving page, said of his parents: "They spent their lives together from early teens and now they have passed, it's comforting to know they are still together."
He will walk every morning before work to complete the challenge and is hoping to raise £250. To donate click here.