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Updated on Apr 1, 2020. Posted on Apr 1, 2020

The Family Of A 13-Year-Old Boy Who Died From The Coronavirus Has Told People To Stay Home

The family of 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab issued a heartfelt plea, saying they are "heartbroken as a family due to the devastation caused by the coronavirus".

Jack Taylor / Getty Images

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The family of 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, the youngest person to die from the novel coronavirus in the UK, have issued a heartfelt plea to the public to stay at home and adhere to social distancing, saying they are "heartbroken as a family due to the devastation caused by the coronavirus".

The family said they did not want to release his picture, concerned about the impact that seeing it in the news would have on them, but paid tribute "to our young boy" saying he had "passed away at the tender age of 13".

"We are heartbroken as a family due to the devastation caused by the Coronavirus as it becomes too real for us as a family and community," they wrote. "Ismail was a loving son, brother, nephew to our family and a friend to many people who knew him. His smile was heart-warming and he was always gentle and kind."

He died on Monday at King's College Hospital in London. In line with current guidelines, his family were not allowed to be present at his bedside.

"This is very painful for us as family, particularly as a mother," they said in the statement. "However, we are comforted by our belief that every life shall taste death and the fact that we have no say when or how this will come about. As Muslims, we believe that this life is short and temporary and we have to remain patient when facing hardship. We would also like to thank all the medics and professionals who did all that they could to save our son's life."

The family ended their statement with a heartfelt plea for people to adhere to government guidelines to halt the spread of the disease.

"Covid-19 is a virus that is attacking all members of our society, not just older people or those with pre-existing conditions. So please do everything you can to ensure that we adhere to social distancing; that people stay at home as much as they possibly can, to protect the NHS and save lives," they wrote.

Read the full statement here:

Inna lillahi wa ina illaahi rajiuun! "Verily we belong to Allah (God), and verily to Him do we return."


We the family of Ismail Mohamed would like to share this statement to first of all thank everyone who has expressed their prayers to us and supported us during this very difficult moment in our lives.


We would like to pay tribute to our young boy Ismail Mohamed, who has passed away at the tender age of 13. We are heartbroken as a family due to the devastation caused by the Coronavirus as it becomes too real for us as a family and community. Ismail was a loving son, brother, nephew to our family and a friend to many people who knew him. His smile was heart-warming and he was always gentle and kind.


Sadly, he passed away on Monday 30th of March at King's College Hospital due to COVID-19 without his family present and this is very painful for us as family, particularly as a mother. However, we are comforted by our belief that every life shall taste death and the fact that we have no say when or how this will come about. As Muslims, we believe that this life is short and temporary and we have to remain patient when facing hardship.


We would also like to thank all the medics and professionals who did all that they could to save our son's life. And also, Madinah College for their support and for raising money for his funeral expenses and for our family on our GoFundMe page. We are extremely grateful and overwhelmed by the amount of support from all over the world and to everyone who has donated even though they did not know Ismail - the impact of his death has touched the hearts of many and we are truly humbled by this.


As a family, we have decided not to release Ismail's picture at this juncture as we are concerned where it may end up and how this will impact us upon seeing it.


We as a family are still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of Ismail. He leaves behind six siblings who are completely devastated and this has been made more difficult not being able to be with Ismail while he was in the hospital.


We as a family would like to give notice that there is a GoFundMe appeal which has been started by friends. We are entirely grateful and overwhelmed by all the support, prayers and donations. https://www.gofundme.com/f/Janazah-Expenses-for-Ismail


Finally, we are all praying at this difficult time for all the people affected by this Covid-19 virus and we wish everybody speedy recovery. We also wanted to re-iterate the need for people to listen to government guidance.


Covid-19 is a virus that is attacking all members of our society, not just older people or those with pre-existing conditions. So please do everything you can to ensure that we adhere to social distancing; that people stay at home as much as they possibly can, to protect the NHS and save lives.


We are also thankful for all the prayers and appreciate respect for our privacy from the media at this difficult time in our lives.


Yours faithfully,


Family of Ismail.

Hannah Al-Othman is a political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Hannah Al-Othman at hannah.al-othman@buzzfeed.com.

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