Dad-of-six dies in front of horrified son after ‘struggling to breathe’ during heatwave

A dad -of-six tragically died in front of his heartbroken son after he was “struggling to breathe” during the record heatwave.

Derek Swindle died last week following the heatwave which saw the hottest ever day recorded in the UK.

The scaffolder from Hillfields, Coventry, had previously suffered with health problems but was left struggling for breath as temperatures reached 40C on July 18 and 19.

The 65-year-old had worked in the same profession since he was 14 and in his 50s became very ill with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and angina.

After struggling to breathe he had an infection in his lung which led to his sudden death in front of his 17-year-old son.

Now his family have been left “devastated” after the death of the beloved father.

Daughter Courtney Bowden, 23, said: “Our world fell apart when our beautiful dad unexpectedly passed away.

“He was rushed into hospital struggling to breathe due to the recent UK heatwave and suddenly passed away less than 24 hours later.

“He was a scaffolder from the age of 14, up until he was in his 50s, then he got really poorly with COPD and angina.

“He was in and out of hospital for years but then with the heatwave, he was struggling to breathe, then he had an infection in his lungs and he just passed away suddenly.”

Derek left behind six children and seven grandchildren who are all struggling to come to terms with what has happened.

Courtney said: “It still has not properly hit home. It has been so surreal. I have got a younger brother He is only 17 and he watched him pass away. We were not sure whether he was going to pull through or not.

“He is devastated. Our dad was loved by so many and anyone that knew him knew the kind of man he was,” said Courtney.

“He was the most bubbly person. He would literally do anything for anyone. He had step-children that he would take under his wing.

“He was really so kind-hearted. He had seven grandchildren that he loved to pieces.

“He loved his Minions. All his grandkids would always buy him Minions and stuff like that. He was just down with the kids really.”

The family are now fundraising to give the Minion-mad dad the “send off he deserves” and have launched a GoFundMe to cover his funeral costs.

Courtney is hoping to raise around £2,000 and said her family is “really struggling” financially and only has a matter of days to find the cash.