A JOHNSTONE family left devastated by the sudden death of a loved one to Covid-19 have urged people to take lockdown rules seriously.

Helen Crawford, 61, died earlier this month after being struck down by the virus, which she initially thought was merely a chest infection.

The gran-of-two developed bacterial pneumonia, which caused her to have a heart attack, and she died of Covid-related complications on November 4.

Her granddaughter Lauren said the tragedy has left the family in “complete and utter shock.”

“We all felt lost and numb when she died, as it happened so fast,” she told The Gazette.

“Before this, I hadn’t heard of many people who had been touched by Covid but when it does affect someone you love, it’s scary.

“It’s important that we all keep following the restrictions – not just to protect yourself but also to protect other people, especially the older generation.”

Helen’s grief-stricken husband Billy added: “A lot of people don’t realise how dangerous Covid can be until a family member gets it.

“I would really advise people not to break the rules.”

Much-loved Helen was a regular visitor to the Lilybank Sports and Social Club, where she organised a bus trip each year to take locals down to Blackpool.

Even during her last days at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, she was calling family and friends from her sick bed to make sure they were well.

A JustGiving page set up by a family friend has raised over £4,000 - well beyond the £1,000 target – to pay for funeral costs.

Billy added: “It’s unbelievable how kind people have been. I didn’t realise how many friends Helen had.”

Due to current lockdown rules, Helen’s funeral will be restricted to a small number of relatives and friends when it takes place at Woodside Crematorium, in Paisley, this afternoon.

Lauren said: “Sadly, there can be no open casket as it was a Covid death, which means that, as a family, we can’t properly say goodbye to her.

“She will be passing the Lilybank Sports and Social Club at around 12.25pm on the way to the crematorium, so we’re inviting people to line the streets if they would like to pay their respects.”

To support the fundraising effort, visit https://bit.ly/32vUts4.