Son's grief at not being at father's Skye care home bedside

  • Published
John Angus Gordon
Image caption,
John Angus Gordon was a resident at Home Farm care home in Portree
Presentational white space

A Highland councillor has spoken of his grief at the death of his father at a care home at the centre of a Covid-19 outbreak on Skye.

John Gordon's dad, John Angus Gordon, 83, is among five residents who have died at Home Farm in Portree.

They were among 57 residents and staff at the care home to test positive for the virus.

Mr Gordon said he was struggling to come to terms with not being at his father's bedside in his final moments.

John Angus' health deteriorated within a few days of him testing positive for Covid-19.

His family were told on Tuesday that he was dying.

Image caption,
Mr Gordon was one of 57 people to test positive for Covid-19 at the home

Mr Gordon and his family were able to Facetime John Angus just a few hours before he died on Tuesday evening.

"Our dad was someone who liked to give you a handshake, the first thing he would do when you'd meet him was to stick out his hand to shake yours," said Mr Gordon.

"He had dementia and the sense of touch reassured him, either by him shaking your hand or holding your hand as you spoke to him."

'Biggest struggles'

Listening to the voices of his family on Facetime, John Angus reached out to the hand of the carer sitting with him.

Mr Gordon said: "She was in her full personnel protective equipment. She looked like a scientist with all the head gear, mask, plastic face shield and blue gloves.

"We found it quite poignant that my Dad put out his hand to hers and she was wearing these blue protective gloves."

Mr Gordon added: "One of the biggest struggles through this time of grief is that while we were able to be at his bedside using Facetime, we could not be there physically."

The councillor said he and his family had nothing but praise and appreciation for the care and hard work of Home Farm's staff.

But he said the home's owners, HC-One, would need to answer questions about why the site became the centre of a significant outbreak.

HC-One has said it is "doing everything" it can to keep residents and staff safe.

The outbreak on Skye was announced last week, and an Army mobile testing unit was set up on the island.

Local MP Ian Blackford has described the deaths at Home Farm as "heart-breaking and devastating".

Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson said it was a very difficult and anxious time for residents, families and staff.