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Grieving Fenland family appeal for more people to become blood donors



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The family of a well-known family butcher are urging more people to become life-saving blood donors.

The call comes from Linda Coates and her children Alida and Chris, following the death of husband and father Chris Coates on Wednesday (20).

Chris, 80, died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn where he contracted covid-19 while being treated for myelofibrosis - a form of blood cancer.

Chris Coates has died at the age of 80 after suffering blood cancer, now his family want people to sign up as blood donors. Chris is pictured with his wife Linda.
Chris Coates has died at the age of 80 after suffering blood cancer, now his family want people to sign up as blood donors. Chris is pictured with his wife Linda.

Linda explained that Chris, who ran C Coates Butchers in Walsoken - the business set up by his father - until his retirement in 2001 needed regular blood transfusions after being diagnosed with the cancer three years ago.

She said: "He had been ill for about 17 years , he had a stroke and then he developed Parkinson's Disease, before being diagnosed with myelofibrosis and the NHS was fantastic through it all.

"The treatment Chris had was second to none at Peterborough City Hospital where he was looked after by both the haematology and oncology departments, but it would not have been possible without blood donors.

Chris Coates has died at the age of 80 after suffering blood cancer, now his family want people to sign up as blood donors. (44112149)
Chris Coates has died at the age of 80 after suffering blood cancer, now his family want people to sign up as blood donors. (44112149)

"To start with Chris needed a transfusion once a fortnight, but as the illness progressed it got so he was needing more than one a week.

"You don't realise just how blood donations are used not just in emergency situations to save people's lives, but in so many other life-saving treatments for diseases like Chris had - without people donating he would have died sooner, they gave him three more years of life and we are so grateful for that.

"I would urge younger people to seriously consider becoming a blood donor if they can, it is quite a simple and painless process, both Chris and I did it in the past and I know Chris more than had back what he had donated."

Chris Coates has died at the age of 80 after suffering blood cancer, now his family want people to sign up as blood donors. Chris was a young player at Peterborough United.
Chris Coates has died at the age of 80 after suffering blood cancer, now his family want people to sign up as blood donors. Chris was a young player at Peterborough United.

Chris was admitted to the King's Lynn hospital on December 27 after becoming seriously ill as a result of his illness, he unfortunately contracted Covid-19 while he was there and died as a result.

But Linda said: "Although his death certificate will probably say he died of the virus, he would not have survived any way. We were not able to be with him because of the pandemic, but the hospital staff were wonderful, they gave him fantastic care - we can't praise them enough for the way they looked after him."

She described her husband, who was a keen footballer playing for Peterborough United, Wisbech Town and King's Lynn in his youth with the players' nickname 'Chopper', as "a lovely man, with a great sense of humour" who was never any different.

The family of Chris Coates from Wisbech are urging people to become blood donors. (44112436)
The family of Chris Coates from Wisbech are urging people to become blood donors. (44112436)

Linda said: "He absolutely loved his football, but sadly had to give it up to go into the family business when he was in his early 20s."

As well as Linda, who he married in November 1963, and his children Chris also leaves four grandchildren and one great grandchild.

The family have asked for donations in Chris' memory for Blood Donor UK and these can be made via Thornalley Funeral Services in King's Lynn on 01553 771399.



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