The children of a couple, who died a day apart from Covid-19, are left reeling after the sudden loss of their parents but are determined to pull together to get through the tragedy.
The couple was well known in Raisethorpe, KwaZulu-Natal, having run a small spice shop for many years, reports Capital Newspapers.
In 2015, they relocated with their three children to Port Elizabeth.
In April, the couple and their 23-year-old son started displaying symptoms of coronavirus and decided to get tested.
“On April 11, my dad, 48, and I went to the hospital after experiencing a dry cough and difficulty breathing.
“We went to the hospital and they decided to test us for Covid-19. The following day, my mother, 47, also got tested. On Wednesday, April 15, we received our results, which were positive.
“We were already admitted to hospital at the time. They then tested my two younger siblings on the same day. On April 17, I was discharged as the doctor checked on me. My condition improved and some of the symptoms stopped,” explained the son.
With the three of them hospitalised, the other two children, an 11-year-old and an 18-year-old, were placed in quarantine at home and their tests were also positive.
They have since recovered. The son recovered from the disease and was discharged but their parents’ health took a turn for the worse.
“On Monday, just over a week after he was admitted, my dad passed on. If the shock of that wasn’t bad enough, a day later my mum died. We were not allowed to attend the funeral; only ten people were. There are no words to describe how devastated we are,” said the son.
It is still a mystery how the family got infected as they had taken precautions.
“It starts off with a nasal-like headache, then the sore scratchy throat sets in. This is followed by a dry cough which hurts the chest. It is extremely difficult to breathe, almost like there is no oxygen.
“Diarrhoea follows and eventually symptoms start subsiding but doctors can only treat symptoms… My parents just never recovered,” says the son, who matriculated at Woodlands.
The couple were very involved in their church, the Pentecostal Revival Mission in Pietermaritzburg.
The church’s Tracy Kunigan Singh remembers the couple as being “devoted Christians”.
“They were very involved in the church, a kind couple who helped people. It was really sad to hear of their passing. I am praying for their children, for strength and for the health of the people during this time,” said Singh.