A 93-year-old man has died in isolation, not with coronavirus, but likely due to panic attacks brought on by being alone, his family say.
Auckland anaesthetist Dr Cath Francis is now heartbroken as she isn't able to console her mother after the death of her grandfather, Patrick McCann, on Sunday.
In a tweet, Francis wrote about the death of her grandad and the severity of his panic attacks brought on by social isolation.
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"My 93-year-old grandfather died this morning. Not with COVID but likely because of it.
He was the most social and caring human I know. The social isolation gave him panic attacks. He had to be sedated because of them. He slipped into a coma and died.
And I can't even hug my mum."
She added that the family hoped the isolation saved others' lives.
"It's what he would have wanted.
"I just pray that other people respect the lockdown as much as we love our GG. We are taking it seriously. We want to be saving people by our actions."
His daughter, Teresa Francis, told Stuff her "character" of a father eventually needed "some sedation" just to help him manage.
"I think he was just one of the silent Covid-19 casualties who died because of it, not from it," she said.
He died in the Sevenoaks retirement village on the Kāpiti Coast.
McCann was used to being visited regularly by family. However, with that stopping due to the lockdown, he began suffering panic attacks.
The family told Stuff according to his GPs he had "overwhelming anxiety due to lack of social contacts".
McCann had eight children, 14 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
The family were now planning a virtual celebration of his life.