Mum left to raise kids alone after Man Utd worker husband, 34, dies amid Covid delays

Rob Wood passed away in September, age 34 (Image: MEN MEDIA)

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A devastated mum is left to raise her three children alone after her beloved husband passed away after the coronavirus pandemic delayed his treatment.

Rob Wood was born with Glycogen Storage Disease, a rare genetic condition that affects the way the body stores sugars, resulting in liver damage and physical disability.

He led a full life, despite his condition, married to wife, Jenny, as well as being a dad to their three children, Caitlin, 6, and 19-month-old twins Freddie and Archie, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Rob had also secured his dream job in the Executive Club at Manchester United.

But when his health started to deteriorate further, Rob, who was under the care of several hospitals in Manchester, London and Birmingham, was placed on the transplant list in January this year.

Rob had managed to lead a full life until his liver failed suddenly in September
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

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Just two months later, the UK went into lockdown as Covid-19 swept through the country.

It meant Rob's appointments were either postponed or carried out by phone.

As this happened, Rob's health got worse.

He began experiencing acute pain near his liver, and his family say the absence of face-to-face appointments with his specialists meant that health professionals didn’t initially recognise his symptoms were connected to his disease, which affects only a handful of people in the UK.

It was in September when his liver failed quite suddenly with what is called a burst varices.

He was at work at the time, where he looked after the club's VIPs and sponsors, and was rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and was placed in intensive care.

At that point it wasn’t possible for him to have a transplant and he was placed in a medically induced coma, one which he never came out of.

He died on September 28, aged 34.

His devastated wife Jenny, also 34 and a teacher at Benchill Primary School in Wythenshawe, is still trying to come to terms with her loss.

She said: "Our lives have been turned upside down in the most brutal way.

"I feel like I have lost my identity overnight, having built my adult life with Rob since we were 18.

"It breaks my heart knowing that Rob is not able to see our kids changing, growing and learning new things.

Robert Wood had his dream job at Manchester United
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

"Rob was an amazing daddy, besotted with our children.

"I feel devastated for them and myself that he has been ripped from our lives."

She added: "Caitlin had an incredibly strong bond with her daddy, she was a true daddy’s princess.

"She misses her daddy immensely and says so every day." Because of his long-term health condition, Rob was unable to get health insurance, so Jenny's sister Emily Peasgood has launched a fundraising campaign to give the family some financial support.

Emily said: "They do not have a lot of money and Jenny does not want the children to struggle.

"The twins were only born last year.

"Jennifer is unable to grieve because she is so worried about money.

Wife Jenny is still trying to come to terms with Rob's sudden passing
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

"She just needs a breathing space."

The Crowdfunder has so reached £7,000, which Emily says will 'give the family some stability in the coming months', but as it 'will only support the children for a very limited time', she hopes people will dig deep for someone who 'spent his life caring for and helping others'.

Rob was just six years old when he joined St John's Ambulance Brigade and went on to join the British Red Cross, where as a teenager he was awarded the accolade of the Red Cross First Aid Shield.

During his career at Manchester United, he also served as a first aider.

In 1998, John Major presented him with a Child of Achievement award for the bravery and determination he showed to get the most out of life and to reach his full potential.

On the contributions received so far, Jenny, who lives in Urmston, said: “I am truly touched by the generosity of people who have donated so far.

"This will help me give my children some opportunities in life that Rob and I always planned for them.

People lined the streets as Rob's coffin passed by Manchester United's football ground
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

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"It means so much that people – strangers to friends and family – have been so kind."

Despite Jenny's financial worries, after Rob's funeral – which passed by Manchester United's Old Trafford ground – she raised almost £2,500 in his name for charities he supported.

In the fundraiser that Emily has shared online, she says: "During his funeral procession, it was clear how many people loved him.

"As the coffin passed Manchester United's football ground, the streets were lined with people clapping.

"After his family, his biggest love was Manchester United.

"Rob spent his life helping and caring for others.

The funeral cortege at Old Trafford
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

"It is perhaps an irony that the people closest to him need a bit of help now that he's gone.

"It's not in Jenny's nature to ask for help, but she really does need it, so I am asking for her.

"I want to take some of the stress away.

"Any contribution will make a huge difference to their situation, which is why I have set this campaign so all funds will be received by the family.

"If you can support them, please do.

"They are devastated and shocked by Rob's early death."

To make a donation, visit the website here.

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