NEWPORT: The family of three popular Newport men have been left devastated after two brothers died within hours of each other, just three weeks after their father also died.
Ghulam Abbas, 59 and Raza Abbas, 54, died beside each other in the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Gwent Hospital on Tuesday, April 21, after they both contracted Covid-19. Raza Abbas had been in a coma since March 27 with the virus – one day before his father, Ghulam Mohammed, passed away from ill health. Ghulam Abbas was admitted to hospital on April 7 after he tested positive for the virus.
According to an Asian Image report, the family, from Pill, are particularly popular with the community in Newport having owned a newsagency in the area since 1982, which they sold in 2004. All three men were also members of the Islamic Mosque Society for Wales, which Ghulam Mohammed founded.
Ghulam Abbas’ daughter, Rukhsar Abbas, said: “I didn’t realise how much of a well-known family we had, and how much of an impact my father and his brother had on the community, until now.
“We’ve had so many messages of support from members of the community and further afield, and even MPs have contacted us to send their condolences. It shows the kind of men they were, we’re all so proud of them and are totally heartbroken.”
The funeral for both brothers took place on Wednesday (April 22), where their coffins travelled through Newport via their homes. Ms Abbas added that her father was “the backbone of our family”, and emphasised her thanks to those who have shared their prayers.
“I had to grieve for my father through a window,” said Ms Abbas, who was only able to pay her respects to her father within her home while she watched his coffin go by outside. It’s a horrible feeling that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
“But to have had hundreds of people praying for our family – some that didn’t even know us – has been unbelievable. I can’t thank everyone enough.”
Mubarak Ali, brother-in-law to Ghulam and Raza Abbas and secretary of Islamic Mosque Society for Wales, said: “It’s totally surreal to think that two brothers have passed away by each others’ side. I’ve never seen so many tributes in my life. You only realise the impact people have sometimes once they are gone.”
Raza Abbas leaves behind his wife and two sons, while Ghulam Abbas leaves behind his wife and two daughters. Ghulam Mohammed was father to five and grandfather to 20.