The Loose Women star’s father Vin died in September of pneumonia at the age of 84. He had suffered from a number of health issues, including pulmonary fibrosis.
Appearing on GB News on Wednesday (5 January), Welch revealed that she had seen her father for his last Christmas in December 2020, despite there being a strict ban on meeting other households indoors.
“My dad died in September, he took ill last Christmas day… I’m glad I broke the rules because it turned out it was my dad’s last Christmas,” Welch told Dan Wootton. “Had I not driven with a dry mouth up the motorway, breaking the law, thinking I might be arrested, I wouldn’t have spent my last Christmas with my dad.
“We weren’t able to visit quite a lot of the time and it was possibly the most heartbreaking thing that I have ever been through in my entire life.”
At the time, the TV presenter had called for the end to “cruel” restrictions surrounding care homes and medical facilities.
Welch said that people who criticised the NHS were viewed as “akin to a murderer”, but that people would die “lonely deaths” if not allowed to see their loved ones.
“We can listen to the NHS chiefs and the government but when you listen to the people on the shop floor and they’re saying there’s hardly any Covid in the hospital… if my sister and I hadn’t been in that hospital with my dad at certain times, he would have died,” she said.
“It is the hill that I will die on. We can’t go on like this, it’s insane. The collateral damage of Covid has been absolutely horrendous. We can’t live our lives just constantly propping up the NHS… propping up this absolute disaster of a system.”
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Earlier this week, prime minister Boris Johnson said that the UK would be sticking to current Plan B measures and that no new restrictions would be introduced.
However, as daily confirmed infections topped 200,000 for first time, Johnson said the NHS was being put on “war footing” and would soon feel overwhelmed during a very difficult period.
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