‘Our world has been devastated,’ says widow after father-of-two dies from covid aged 32

HE was a doting father-of-two who never took life for granted. Lee Dodds lived for his family and always had a happy outlook.

The 32-year-old, from Ayr, had built a life with teenage sweetheart Charmaine and the couple were married in 2013.

However, in March this year both he and Charmaine began to feel unwell and along with their two children Gregor, 11, and Amelia, six, they began isolating after all of them tested positive for covid.

Read more: 9/11 20 years on : how a Scottish charity opened their hearts to help devastated families

Although Mr Dodds occasionally used an inhaler for asthma, he had no other underlying health conditions. However, as his wife began to show signs of improving, Mr Dodds was struggling to recover and just a day after his 32nd birthday he was admitted to hospital. He sadly died at Crosshouse Hospital on April 2 leaving his family devastated. He was an only child who is sadly missed as he meant the world to his parents Eileen and Lee Snr.

HeraldScotland: Lee and Charmaine Dodds were devoted to one anotherLee and Charmaine Dodds were devoted to one another

“Lee was the best father and husband you could ask for and was a real family man. He loved his football. H went to Ibrox with his dad from a young boy and now then both take Gregor, our son along with them, see Rangers. He had a season ticket and we’ve not yet been able to let that go,” said Mrs Dodds.

“We all had covid at the same time and it just completely floored us, but after a few days you just had to get on with things as we all had to look after each other. Lee wasn’t getting any better and I don’t know if he was trying to hold on until his birthday on March 18, but we had to call for an ambulance and he was taken to hospital on March 19. He passed away on April 2.”

Read more: Glasgow Airport announces new Canadian route

The family has been left heartbroken and Mrs Dodds says just now it is a case of trying to get through each day as it comes.

“It is just over four months since Lee died but it is very hard on us all. He was our whole world and was just someone who was full of fun.”

HeraldScotland: Happy times together for Charmaine and Lee DoddsHappy times together for Charmaine and Lee Dodds

The Herald is campaigning to create a memorial to Scots lost to covid and for anyone affected by the pandemic to have a place to go to reflect and remember. More than £60,000 has been raised towards the memorial which will be located in the grounds of Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park after Glasgow City Council generously offered to host the site.

As part of the engagement phase our artist Alec Finlay is reaching out through the theme of I remember with people being encouraged to submit a single sentence which can capture the thoughts and feelings throughout the pandemic.

On Saturday, September 11 an open day will be held at Pollok Country Park from 11am to 3pm to give people the chance to meet Mr Finlay and his colleagues Ken Cockburn and Lucy Richards.

The memorial team will be joined by Pollok Country Park Staff, who are inviting people to plant a wildflower – meadows cranesbill, primrose, self-heal – or make a flower print on calico, or make a friendship bracelet.

The event location is 200metres from the Riverside car park; walk up the Ash Path, past the Meadow, and look for The Beech Grove on your right. This area is 20m off the path, up a short slope. It is not wheelchair accessible, but the team will also meet people on the path.

Mr Finlay said: “The ‘I remember’ form was devised by the American artist Joe Brainard. The only rule is that they must consist of a single sentence that begins, ‘I remember…’. We are beginning to see real emotion come through in some of them. They are touching contributions.”

While still grieving the loss of her husband Mrs Dodds got in touch with our artist after giving her own I remember sentence some thought.

“I read about the idea and I have submitted an I remember for Lee which said ‘When I knew what happiness was because I met you, love you for one thousand years.’”

To sign up for the open day go to http://www.i-remember.uk/p/events.html.

To submit an I Remember, email covidmemorial@theherald.co.uk. To donate to the campaign at gofundme.com/ herald-garden-of-remembrance. You can also send donations via post to The Herald Garden of Remembrance Campaign, Herald & Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow, G32 8FG.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992