A 21-year-old youth football coach who died after catching coronavirus is one of the youngest victims in the world.
When he was diagnosed with Covid-19, Francisco (Fran) Garcia, from Malaga, Spain, was given the devastating news that he had leukaemia.
Mr Garcia had no idea he had an aggressive form of cancer, which made him extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, when he went to a hospital with breathing problems last Friday, it was reported.
The president of the Atletico Portada Alta football club said he was told that Mr Garcia was stable, but an hour later was informed that he had died.
He is the youngest victim in Spain – and possibly all of Europe – and his death comes as the country struggles to contain the flu-like illness.
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Almost 8,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus and almost 300 have died in Spain, which had the fourth most confirmed cases as of Monday morning.
Mr Garcia is the fifth person in Malaga to die. The other four were aged in their 70s and 80s.
The youngest of Italy’s 1,800 victims was a 38-year-old man who died last week.
As of last month, the youngest person to die in China was a 36-year-old man.
Mr Garcia was admitted to hospital as a suspected case after telling doctors that he was having trouble breathing, Malaga Hoy reported.
Tests confirmed he had coronavirus and pneumonia, and that he was already suffering from leukaemia.
Infectious disease experts said he would have survived and recovered had he not been weakened by cancer.
Mr Garcia had been training at Atletico Portada Alta for four seasons and was currently coaching a youth team.
Pepe Bueno, the club’s president, said he got a call at 7pm on Sunday telling him that Mr Garcia’s condition was stable.
An hour later he was told that Mr Garcia was dead.
Mr Bueno told Malaga Hoy: “He was a very good boy and a very good coach. We’re still in a state of shock.
“They called me at 7pm on Sunday saying that he was stabilised after they had admitted him on Friday.
“And an hour later of the coronavirus and [cancer]… I do not believe it. It seems impossible to me.”
In a post on social media, the football club paid tribute to Mr Garcia, writing: “We want to express our deepest condolences to the family, friends and close friends of our coach Francisco Garcia who has left us, unfortunately.
“Now what do we do without you, Francis?
“How are we going to continue conquering … in the league? We don’t know how, but we will surely do it for you.
“We will not forget you, rest in peace, phenomenon. Until forever.”