‘Kenny was top notch’: Glasgow firm pay emotional tribute to lorry driver who died after Covid-19 battle – Glasgow Times
A LORRY driver who died of coronavirus got a special send off – after his truck was decorated with images of him and his family. Kenny Smith, 64, passed away on May 13 after being put on a ventilator when he became seriously ill with the virus.
The grandfather-of-three, who had no underlying health conditions, spent a fortnight in hospital. On the day of his death his colleagues at Circle Express in Glasgow flashed their lights to pay tribute to popular Kenny, who used to drive freight between Glasgow and London. At his funeral on June 2 his boss, John Cunningham, drove Kenny’s Mercedes truck down to Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, where Kenny lived with his wife of 44 years, Karen.
Graphics stuck onto Kenny’s lorry included images of him with his family, his citizens band radio handle ‘The Devil’s Doorkeeper’ and ‘Papa – the man, the myth, the legend’ above his cab. Karen, 62, said: “The funeral was amazing.
“John Cunningham has been brilliant, he’s been in touch constantly. “I asked if he could bring Kenny’s truck down and toot the horn for him. “It just snowballed from there.
“He said he wanted to do a tribute to him and asked what photos I’d like on the truck. “It was amazing. “I just couldn’t talk – every time I tried I started crying.”
Kenny first began feeling unwell on April 25, before being admitted to University Hospital Crosshouse in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. Karen, a care home worker, said: “He came home on the Saturday morning and told me he really didn’t feel well.
“He went to bed but got up through the night. “We were both key workers so he went online to arrange a test.” On April 27, Kenny and Karen drove to Glasgow Airport to be tested, before later finding out by text that they both had Covid-19.
Over the following days Kenny’s condition worsened and after Karen called NHS 24, he was taken to hospital by ambulance. Karen said: “He just didn’t have any energy.
“Kenny got taken in first and checked over, but he was worried about me. “I was over the worst of it. “I basically got my oxygen levels checked but they were fine and there was no point keeping me in.”
On May 2 Kenny got placed on a ventilator and over the following ten days his condition deteriorated, before he passed away. Karen said: “It was such a shock. “He loved going out with the family – he was mischievous but a good laugh.
“Anybody that knew him was very lucky. “His family adored him.” John, Scottish regional manager at Circle Express, said: “Kenny worked for me for 16 years.
“Kenny was top notch, one of the best and nicest guys you’ll have. “Everybody was gutted – we all loved Kenny. “I have a great team around me and Kenny was an integral part of the business.
“He helped a lot of the young boys who came on and showed them the ropes – he was like a father figure. “I asked about photos then gave them to my graphics guy and they put them on the truck. “It was just a special thing rather than a plain truck.
“On the day he died there were trucks with flashing lights and on the day of his funeral it was just myself there with the truck.
“I blasted the horns, that was at the request of his wife.
“It was very emotional but brought a lot of joy to his family.”
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