WESTBURY people have rallied round to support a local family, with more than £6,500 raised to help the Tilleys while dad Lee is in an induced coma as he battles the coronavirus.

Mr Tilley, 43, is in intensive care at the Royal United Hospital in Bath after falling ill just after New Year. He suffers from diabetes and had kidney stones.

His wife Karen, 40, and eldest son, Alex, 17, have also tested positive for the deadly virus. Thankfully, his disabled daughter Josselin, 14, and youngest son Dalton, eight, are so far clear.

Alex said: “Dad was taken into hospital on January 2 for treatment to his kidneys.

“He has been on a life support machine in an induced coma since January 6 because his condition started to deteriorate. We don’t know how he is doing.”

Alex also fell ill on New Year’s Eve and said: “I just had a temperature really and it started to get worse. I had a bad cough and felt really achy. It was almost like going for a full body workout at the gym.”

Mum Karen was the next to contract the virus. She started to feel ill between January 1 and 3.

Mrs Tilley is self-isolating at home while looking after the couple’s severely disabled daughter Josselin, who has Charge Syndrome, severe autism and is profoundly deaf and registered blind.

The family live at Bitham Mill, Westbury, and until last year Mr Tilley was working as a carpenter.

Alex added: “So far my sister has not been affected, which is quite a surprise, and my little brother Dalton seems to be OK.

“We have been staying in the house. There’s nothing really that we can do.

“Family and friends have been fantastic and have been dropping off shopping bags outside the front door.”

In 2019, Alex, 17, a former pupil at Matravers School, successfully auditioned to become the drummer for Bristol-based Iron Maiden heavy metal tribute band Ed Force One.

He now studies music at the British & Irish Modern Music Institute in Bristol and has been logging into classes online because of the Covid lockdown.

Friends have launched a crowdfunding appeal on gofundme to help the family, as they now have little money coming in.

Organiser Faye Jones-Filler said: “Lee is in intensive care in a critical condition with Covid-19.

“There is little money coming in for Karen and the family, so we launched the appeal to help them out at such a difficult time.

“Karen has Covid too and is feeling poorly herself. Karen also cares for a complex need child so doesn’t work. Any amount will really help.”

So far, 235 donors have raised £6,535 after smashing through the appeal’s original £200 target. To help the family, donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-the-tilleys.