Security Guard dad-of-three, 46, died of Covid after telling wife how shoppers turned up without masks

Tributes have been paid to a dad-of-three who died after seven weeks in hospital with coronavirus.

Eric Ohene-Adjei, 46, was admitted to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff with breathing difficulties in late February, after testing positive for Covid-19, and spent weeks in intensive care.

Eric’s wife, Rachel, said it had been: “seven weeks of hell not being able to be by his side”, until her husband sadly died on Saturday, April 17.

“I was called in on Wednesday [April 7] to say my final goodbyes but then he recovered so well he was breathing by himself.

“On Monday, [April 12] the hospital said he was taking a turn for the worse again and required help with oxygen. Then on Saturday morning, I got the call to say he had no healthy tissue left in his lungs.

“Not being able to be by his side was gut-wrenching,” she said.

The couple met on a night out in Cardiff and got married in Ghana in 2007. Rachel said their three children – Isaac, 12, nine-year-old Jacob and eight-year-old Ebony – “understand that he’s gone but don’t understand why”.

She said her children tell her they “want their daddy back”.

Tributes have been flooding into the family from people who knew Eric from his job as a security guard at the Tesco Superstore in St Mellons, Cardiff.

“He would be so overwhelmed, grateful and thankful for all the support myself and the children have been given by everyone.

body camera

“Friends from back in school in Ghana, in London, in Ireland, he left his mark on everybody. He was a people person and such an exceptional man.

“He was proud of me, proud of our children and took pride in everything he did. He always made sure he worked happy. I’ve never known anyone so happy to go to work. He was massive talker.

“It didn’t matter what the job was, he always had a smile, always spoke to everyone no matter their race or religion, everyone was his friend.

“I just want him to know how much we love him and we miss him. His memory will go on,” she added.

Eric showed symptoms of coronavirus following a late shift and would often tell Rachel about customers coming into the store “without masks on”.

“He would come home and tell me people were coming in without any masks on only to have them say they’re exempt. They didn’t have to show anything or do anything to prove it. Some people have genuine reasons but not everyone can say they’re exempt.

“People think the virus is a massive joke but don’t understand they’re risking their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

“It’s not a joke,” she said.

Helen Davies, Rachel’s cousin, has set up a JustGiving page with the aim of raising £5,000 towards funeral costs and for supporting the family with expenses.

She said: “Eric was such an outstanding, bubbly family man. His personality shone through everything he did and he always went the extra mile for people.

“He was working all through lockdown. I just want people to understand that the virus has not gone.”

Manager of the Tesco St Mellons Superstore Nigel Roberts said: “Eric was a much-loved member of our store team, and everyone here is deeply saddened to hear of his death.

“He was a really lovely guy and a great character, who was very active in the local community. We will be opening a book of condolences so that all colleagues can leave their personal tributes to him, as he touched the lives of so many people.”

Eric was described as a “proud Ghanaian” and was in the process of writing a book to “give people an insight into his ethnic background”.

“He didn’t want to just tell people about Ghana he had Jamaicans and Nigerians involved and wanted each culture to write a chapter about their experiences,” Rachel said.

“Whatever he did, he always did it for other people.”

Source – Wales Online