Woman’s ‘horrible shock’ as dad and brother die of Covid within days of each other


Elaine Rennie has described the heartbreak of losing both her brother and father to Covid within just eight days of each other – she says it was a ‘horrible shock’ and she’s the ‘only one left now’

The Rennie family
Elaine Rennie, centre, is now the only remaining member of her family

A woman was left heartbroken and in shock after her father and brother both caught Covid and died within eight days of each other.

Alistair Rennie, 82 and his son Mark, 47 – who both lived in Whitley Bay – died on April 13 and April 21 respectively.

Alistair had not long returned from hospital after suffering bowel issues when it became clear he – and then his son, Mark who had MS – had caught the virus.

Due to Alistair’s age and Mark’s MS, both were highly vulnerable to the virus.

Elaine Rennie, Alistair’s daughter and Mark’s sister, told Chronicle Live she was left “shocked” by the loss and said it was particularly difficult because she lost her mum Mary just three years ago.

She said missing their final moments in hospital had also been heartbreaking – she was out of the room when her dad passed away and unable to get back to the hospital in time to say goodbye to her brother.

Mark Rennie died at just 47 after catching Covid


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She said: “[Mark] was in and out of consciousness and I rushed up to see him but I missed his last breath. I was so sad about that. I’m going to do the best I possibly can for them.”

Paying tribute, she said both men had loved art, music and movies – and this will form a key part of their joint funeral which is set to be held at Tynemouth Crematorium at on May 17.

Elaine said she was planning to sing – she has a long career in music and was once on ITV show Stars in their Eyes as Belinda Carlisle – and she is asking friends and people who knew Alistair and Mark to help her raise funds to cover the cost of a double funeral.

Elaine added: “My brother was very popular on Twitter. He was really into music, he was funny. Both my brother and my dad were.

Alistair, Elaine’s Dad, died at the age of 82 just days before his son


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“Mark hadn’t been out of bed in ten years but he had so many friends. I’ve had so many messages from people all over the world. He would share his thoughts on music and movies, and such great sayings. Everyone thought he was great.”

She said that the memory of her family joining her on stage after success on Stars in their Eyes had been a wonderful moment for them all.

The family were originally from Paisley in Scotland, but moved to Whitley Bay when Alistair got a job in management at Swan Hunter, which once built ships, and now deals with offshore engineering.

“Dad worked at Swan Hunter,” Elaine added. “And then he was a consultant to a fashion company, but he was my brother’s carer until this year when he became more ill. He was happy, kind fair minded and funny. Both of them were really into arts and music and movies. My dad would even make his own DVDs.

“I was so shocked at how this all happened. I was well-prepared to be caring for them both for years. The funeral needs to be a wonderful send-off and. I want to make sure I do the best for them. It’s such a horrible shock that this has happened, but I’m the only one left now.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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