The widow of a Scottish games developer who died of coronavirus has urged people to get vaccinated after revealing that her late husband turned down the jab due to a phobia of needles.
Father-of-two Stewart Gilray died aged 51 on Thursday after he was infected with coronavirus in mid-December.
He had a successful career as a videogames developer, and top industry figures such as Doom creator John Romero have paid tribute to him.
“He avoided trying to go to the doctor’s in case they ever needed to draw blood, but the truth is Stewart wasn’t poorly in the 25 years I knew him.
“He was fit – he could have lost a stone or two like the rest of us – but he genuinely believed he was going to survive this virus because he was healthy.
“Before he was intubated he said to me: ‘There’s nothing to worry about. I’m going to be fine. I just need a little rest.’
“He went into the hospital with low oxygen saturation and went from using an oxygen mask to needing to be intubated.”
When Stewart was admitted to hospital the virus seized upon a previously undiagnosed lung condition that scarred his lungs, robbing him of his ability to breathe on his own.
His condition rapidly declined as Covid took hold, and he was eventually put on a ventilator and put into an induced coma.
While Bec says doctors told her that his lung condition may have affected his chances of survival, she is pleading with others to get the vaccine to protect themselves in spite of any fears they have.
Bec said: “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, it’s horrendous.
“Stewart was the most generous person and had no qualms about helping anybody.
“He was dedicated to our kids, Darcey, three, and Elliot, 15.
“He loved his life, he loved what we had and what he built in his business.
“He wanted to retire early and spend more time with us – to be with the kids more.
“He had all these plans and Covid got him.
“Please, just get vaccinated.”
Originally hailing from the Aberdeenshire village of Newburgh, Stewart picked up qualifications from the Aberdeen College of Commerce in the late 80s.
He then started work as a freelance games programmer working for big 90s names like Psygnosis ltd, Bullfrog, and Argonaut.
A move to Didcot to work for publisher 21st Century Entertainment led to meeting Bec as she worked in a Chinese takeaway.
Bec says the pair never spent more than a few days apart in 25 years of partnership.
In one of Stewart’s final posts on social media, he wrote: “Well, for those that don’t know yet, early last week I (and the rest of the family) tested positive for the old COVID!
“The kids have been fine for the most part, but Bec and I have been hit the most, although judging from her own post on this subject she says I have, and tbh [to be honest] she’s likely not wrong.
In a heartbreaking final post, he shared images of himself hooked up to an oxygen mask.