According to media reports in the UK and Portugal, on 7 August, Francis Gonçalves used Facebook to announce that newspaper Wales Online contacted him to write an article about what had happened to his family.
In the news, released by the newspaper, Francis Gonçalves, who lives in Cardiff, said that his brother Shaul, 40, father Basil, 73, and mother Charmagne, 65, began to feel ill on 10 July, a few days after they shared a meal. Two weeks after these symptoms, all three were dead.
In the interview with the newspaper, Francis said that his family, who lived in Portugal, did not receive vaccines against Covid-19 because they had been frightened by anti-vaccination “misinformation”.
The Portuguese descendant said that his father went to hospital on 6 July, due to a kidney stone problem, and that he believes he became infected in the institution.
Two days later, a Thursday, the father and mother had dinner with their brother, in the apartment he shared with his girlfriend.
Over the weekend they began to feel ill. Shaul felt heavy and extremely tired and his parents were hospitalised, having tested positive for Covid-19.
Away from his family and facing the worsening state of health of his brother and parents, Francis decided to travel to Portugal. However, on 14 July he learned that his father had been transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU).
The health of the hospitalised parents deteriorated and that of his brother also got worse.
While waiting for the results of the Covid-19 test to travel to Portugal, Francis learned that his brother was hospitalised urgently on 17 July. The following morning, he was told that Shaul had died.
On 20 July, Francis was informed by the hospital that his father had died, and the same news was received about his mother on 24 July 24.
According to the report by Wales Online Francis was left shaken and angry by the deaths, as he believes that if they had received the vaccine against Covid-19 the outcome for all three could have been very different.
He said that hopes that sharing his experience, while “extremely difficult”, will help to encourage others to get vaccinated, especially those like his family who were afraid of vaccines.
“They got caught in the middle of a lot of anti-vaccination hype going around,” he told Wales Online.