Man, 24, Dies From Blood Clot After Spending Most Of Lockdown Gaming
A young football coach has died from deep vein thrombosis after spending much of lockdown indoors playing video games.
In March, Louis O’Neill had been furloughed from his job at Centre Parcs. In order to sooth the boredom, like many he took to online gaming with his friends.
His father Stanley Greening, had encouraged the 24-year-old to get out and go for walks, but eventually Louis asked to be left alone. After feeling unwell in May, Louis suffered a blood clot in June. As he sat on the floor against his bed, he said: ‘Dad, what’s happening to me?’ Though paramedics arrived, Louis sadly passed away.
The 56-year-old dad from Harlington, Bedfordshire, wrote an emotional post on Facebook, urging people to ‘walk around, warn your kids’ and ‘get out of your chair as much as you need’. ‘If I can prevent one loss in my son’s name then that’s one bright light that will shine on LOUIS. So STAND UP, for Louis,’ he added.
Stanley’s post reads:
On 3rd June something so awful happened, the worst imaginable thing to happen to such a young man and the worst imaginable thing to happen to a parent. My son, my dear Louis, has gone. Not from the evil virus, but because of it. His young life, barely begun still trying to find his feet, just torn away. The devastation… after seeing my dear boy go like that I am in a living hell.
Stanley explained that during lockdown, Louis had ‘taken to his gaming world to escape. Caught up in a virtual world he became less active, so easily done. Hours fly by when absorbed by the screen. I have done it countless times myself.’
But no-one I mean no, ever in a million years would have predicted a blood clot. And just like that, it ripped my son away and I died inside along with him. 24 years old. Who is warning youngsters? Who is warning anyone of any age? No one. So I am. My son will live on, I shall continue to spread this warning in his name. This terrible thing was preventable had he or we known such risks.
In an interview with BBC Three Counties Radio, Stanley said Louis was playing ‘six to seven hours at a time, probably with very little break. He was sitting there all day. He put on a little bit of weight on.’
Louis has always enjoyed his games. He was chatting to his friends and I think he found some comfort in that. He had his friends on line. He had a virtual world to exist in during the nightmare that was going on outside.
Hours would go by. I couldn’t say how long he was on the computer. There were times when I would get up in the morning and go down stairs for breakfast and he would be up and I would would realise he had been up all night.
Two weeks prior to his death, Stanley found Louis outside the bathroom in the early hours of the morning. ‘Dad can you help me? I have not been feeling well,’ he said.
‘I helped him upstairs. He was approaching his bed, his weight was falling. I caught him and put him on the bed and he passed out. I shook him again and he woke up again. I rang 111. They got a doctor to call back and the doctor suggested that it had been food poisoning,’ his dad explained.
However, at 10.30pm on June 3, Stanley’s wife found Louis bent double at the top of the stairs. ‘It is happening again,’ Stanley thought, and called emergency services.
Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in a vein, usually in the leg. According to the NHS, it can sometimes happen for no reason. However, some situations put people at risk, such as not being able to move around much, being confined to a bed or going on a long journey by plane, car or train.
Louis’ funeral was held on June 24, and his family are now raising money for the Youth Sports Trust in his memory. You can donate here.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.