The father of a healthy young man who died from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after spending the coronavirus lockdown playing computer games has warned of the dangers caused by inactivity.
Louis O'Neill, 24, from Hertfordshire, was furloughed from his job as a football coach at Center Parcs when the UK COVID-19 lockdown was imposed in March.
He joined friends gaming online in order to pass the time. But after complaining about feeling unwell, O'Neill died on 3 June after forming a blood clot in his leg.
His father, Stanley O'Neill, is now warning other families about the dangers of young people developing DVT.
The bereaved artist, 56, posted on Facebook: "On 3rd June something so awful happened, the worst imaginable thing to happen to such a young man and the worst imaginable thing to happen to a parent. My son, my dear Louis, has gone.
"Not from the evil virus, but because of it. His young life, barely begun still trying to find his feet, just torn away. The devastation... after seeing my dear boy go like that I am in a living hell.”
Two weeks before his death, Louis complained to his father about a pain in his leg but when he rang 111, the football coach was advised he may be suffering from food poisoning.
His condition continued to worsen, before Stanley’s wife found Louis doubled over at the top of the stairs.
Stanley O’Neill said: "This damn lockdown. After being furloughed he took to his gaming world to escape. Caught up in a virtual world he became less active, so easily done.
"Hours fly by when absorbed by the screen. I have done it countless times myself. But no-one I mean no, ever in a million years would have predicted a blood clot. And just like that, it ripped my son away and I died inside along with him.
"Twenty-four years old. Who is warning youngsters? Who is warning anyone of any age? No one. So I am. My son will live on, I shall continue to spread this warning in his name."
The 56-year-old, from Harlington, Bedfordshire, continued: "This terrible thing was preventable had he or we known such risks.
"Like many I associate it with older people and something we are warned about on planes. As more and more of us are working from home it is likely you are not getting out of your chair as much as you needs. Stand up, walk around and please warn your kids.
"If I can prevent one loss in my son's name then that's one bright light that will shine on Louis. So Stand up for Louis."
The O’Neill family have set up a fundraising page on MemoryGiving.com to raise money for a youth sports charity.
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