Tributes paid to 'lovely, generous' Eltham couple who died of Covid within days of each other

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved Eltham couple who died of coronavirus within a few days of each other.

Brian Rawlings and Paula Bond, 75 and 73 respectively, had remarkably been together for over 50 years, living as a family in Eltham, south east London, whilst also frequently visiting Tenerife.

The pair were "always together" according to Claudine Farrugia, a close family friend, who also described them as "amazing and kind" people.

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But both Brian and Paula sadly passed from the virus in January, just weeks before they were due to receive their vaccinations.

The couple were both quite ill prior to catching the virus, Paula suffering from Alzheimer's and Brian with COPD and emphysema.

Brian died first on January 5, 2021, then just seven days later Paula passed away on January 12.

The 'amazing' couple leave behind daughter Sophie (43) and three grandchildren aged 15, 13 and 5.

Claudine has set up a small fundraiser to help bring the family some happiness and a bit of "light at the end of this long, cruel tunnel."

She described having "so many great memories with this amazing family," as well as feeling heartache for Sophie, so wanted to contribute something to help support them through this sad time.

"Brian was full of conversations and full of stories. Paula was smiling right up until the end."

Nurses were regularly visiting Brian and Paula's household in Eltham, but daughter Sophie also took on a lot of the responsibility.

Claudine said: "Soph has been amazing with them and has cared for them so much so they outlived the usual time they give patients with those illnesses/conditions.

"I think we all know they have kept each other going and sadly with this climate as it is they lost their battles to fight on any more with their illness."

Claudine added: "Sophie will feel some peace in time that Brian and Paula have gone to our other world together but right now must be going through the worst time of her life.

"I have been friends with Soph since I was 10 and she was eight, and had the best times with Soph.

"Her family were like a second family to me and Nathan who was also close friends with Sophie’s brother Benn.

"I just would like to ask you all to join me in raising some money for Soph and the kids so that at the end of their nightmare."

You can read more on the GoFundMe page or donate here.

The GoFundMe was set up in honour of Brian and Paula to help Sophie pay for a tribute and a 'well-deserved' break for her family when the pandemic is over.