High-flying Scottish computer games developer dies from Covid aged 51 ‘because his fear of needles meant he was too scared to get vaccinated’
- Stewart Gilray, CEO of Just Add Water, died from Covid-19 at the age of 51
- He was hospitalised with virus on December 20 but his condition deteriorated
- His grieving widow Bec has urged the public to overcome their fears and get jab
- She said Stewart had ‘serious fear of needles’, having one blood test in 25 years
A high-flying Scottish computer games developer died from Covid-19 at the age of 51, reportedly because his fear of needles meant he was too afraid to get vaccinated.
Stewart Gilray, CEO of development company Just Add Water, was hospitalised with the virus on December 20 but later died on Thursday.
His grieving widow Bec has urged the public who are worried about getting the jab to overcome their fears and get vaccinated, reports The Daily Record.
She said: ‘Stewart had a serious fear of needles. In all seriousness, in 25 years he had one blood test.’
The father-of-two, from Aberdeen, described having Covid as ‘horrendous’ and said he ‘didn’t wish this on anyone’ shortly before he was admitted to hospital.
Stewart Gilray, CEO of development company Just Add Water, was hospitalised with the virus on December 20 but later died on Thursday
The father-of-two, from Aberdeen, described having Covid as ‘horrendous’ and said he ‘didn’t wish this on anyone’ shortly before he was admitted to hospital
His grieving widow Bec (pictured together) has urged the public who are worried about getting the jab to overcome their fears and get vaccinated, reports The Daily Record
The proportion of critical care hospital admissions for Covid in the unvaccinated (orange bar in the top graph) is increasing again to more than 60 per cent, despite the group making up less than 20 per cent of the population as of December (bottom graph)
A fourth Covid jab is not yet needed, according to British health officials, because booster jabs are continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease from the Omicron coronavirus variant among older adults.
Around three months after receiving a third jab, protection against hospitalisation among those aged 65 and over remained at about 90 per cent, the UK Health Security Agency said.
Protection against mild symptomatic infection of the variant, however, is down to about 30 per cent after three months, according to the latest data.
Figures also show the importance of the booster jab as, with just two vaccines doses, protection drops to 70 per cent after three months and down to 50 per cent after six months.
Taking this data into account, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised the Government against giving a second booster dose, or fourth jab, to care home residents and those aged over 80.
It added that priority should continue to be given to rolling out the first booster dose, and that unvaccinated people should come forward for their first two doses as soon as possible.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, the JCVI’s chair of Covid immunisation, said the latest data is ‘highly encouraging and emphasises the value of a booster jab’.
She added: ‘The current data show the booster dose is continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease, even for the most vulnerable older age groups.
‘For this reason, the committee has concluded there is no immediate need to introduce a second booster dose, though this will continue to be reviewed.
‘The data is highly encouraging and emphasises the value of a booster jab.
‘With Omicron continuing to spread widely, I encourage everyone to come forward for their booster dose or, if unvaccinated, for their first two doses, to increase their protection against serious illness.’
Gilray, who developed remasters of the Oddworld series, a video game adaption of Doctor Who and Sniper Elite VR, was put on oxygen and said he wasn’t ‘doing that great’ whilst posting a photo of a cannula in his hand.
He wrote: ‘I’m not doing that great. The amount of oxygen they have me on too keep me over the magic 95% is the maximum.
‘For those that know we will enough know I hate needles, this picture shows what I’m going through right now to fight this.’
Gilray was later put into an induced coma after his condition deteriorated drastically, the newspaper reported.
His widow Bec said: ‘He avoided trying to go to the doctor’s in case they ever needed to draw blood, but the truth is Stewart wasn’t poorly in the 25 years I knew him.
‘He was fit – he could have lost a stone or two like the rest of us – but he genuinely believed he was going to survive this virus because he was healthy.’
Tributes have poured in for the game developer with American video game programmer John Romero tweeting: ‘It’s hard to believe he’s gone.
‘Stewart Gilray was a good friend and always there whenever anyone needed him, including me.
‘He was one of the good ones. I’m grateful for our friendship and thinking of his wife Bec, kids and many friends he’s left behind.’
Others have also urged the public to get vaccinated and wear a mask to protect themselves from the virus.
Miles Jacobson, CEO of Football Manager creators Sports Interactive, tweeted: ‘This morning I lost another friend to Covid. Someone my age, who also ran a games studio.
‘A life lost far too early leaving a wife without the love of her lives and two children losing their dad.
‘Get vaccinated, wear a mask, care about your fellow humans, because life is too short to not.’
Developer Shahid Ahmad told Games Industry: ‘Stewart was one of the most loved people in the games industry.
‘He made friends wherever he went and was an immensely talented, award-winning games developer.
‘He and I hit it off at our very first meeting well over a decade ago and had been very close friends since, sharing our highest highs and lowest lows. He was one of only a handful of people in the industry who I trusted enough to open up with.
‘I’m devastated at his untimely passing and want to assure his wife and children of the games industry’s support.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with them. Stew is irreplaceable and so is our friendship. The massive outpouring of love for him is testament to him as a man who cared deeply about people.’
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