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DEATH FROM A SNEEZE

THE dreaded novel coronavirus has left a family in the Corporate Area community of Kingston Gardens in despair after it claimed the life of the matriarch and left one of her daughters in a coma.

All other members of the family who share the premises in Kingston Gardens are living in fear as they await the results of their COVID-19 tests.

To compound the misery facing the family, whose names are being withheld, they have been told by health officials that they will have to find just over $200,000 to purchase medication which could possibly save the life of the 32-year-old woman who has been in a coma for the past nine days.

“Mi mother was a ‘hearty’ lady, very ‘hearty’ lady, and one little sickness just come tek her. Mi lose mi mother and is like everything gone. Mi no have no direction, mi general. Is like everything gone,” said the 35-year-old son of the woman who has died.

“It rough, mi general, it rough, and like how God done tek mi mother we have to try find the money to save mi sister. Right now when wi need to prepare money to bury mi mother wi have to a try find $202,000 to save mi sister. This rough, very rough,” said the young man, unable to hide his pain.

He said the trauma started for the family just over one week ago when his sister, who is now in a coma, was on her way from work.

“She a come home in a taxi when a man sneeze in her face. She come in and she shower and everything because of the sneezing. About two days after that she say she nah feel well,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“After that me deh here and mi mother say mi sister’s babyfather come link her and say mi sister nah breathe. Mi mother go fi her and take her to the hospital. Dem admit mi sister and she send one text say the doctor dem say her case no look so good.

“After that mi sister go inna coma and dem say she have a blood clot in her lungs.”

He said days later his mother, who is asthmatic, and another sister fell ill.

The two went to Kingston Public Hospital where, after a long wait, they were seen by medical personnel who determined that they should be admitted, as it was suspected that they had contracted the virus.

“Them have wi mother on the oxygen thing on the COVID ward because she asthmatic, but mi little sister tell them say based on what she was seeing she could not stay because she would dead in the hospital. Mi little sister discharge herself, but mi mother decide to stay because she had trouble breathing.

“Mi don’t know if is because mi mother know that mi other sister down there in coma why she wanted to stay, because she have the machine at home that she use when the asthma attack her,” added the grieving son.

He said on Sunday his mother called him from her hospital bed to check if they were all right and what they would have for dinner.

“Mi tell her say, ‘Mama, wi all right, we a all big people,’ and she tell mi say, ‘Them nah treat me right down here.’ That a the last thing mi hear from her because she say she a come off the phone because she nah breathe good.”

According to the son, on Monday morning he received a call from an aunt who told him that the hospital had called to say his mother had lost her fight with the virus.

“Mi later get the understanding that a from Sunday night mi mother dead but a Monday dem call wi. Mi hear that her oxygen did done and nobody attended to her. Mi mother did tell wi say she need assistance but because nobody could visit her wi never go.

“Mi sister did say she wanted to go down there Monday morning to move her to UC [University Hospital of the West Indies], but unfortunately mi mother dead from Sunday. Mi nah lie, mi general, as far as me see the whole hospital thing gone bad. Mi no know if dem stress out or dem short-staffed, but is like the doctor dem nah look pon people like one time.”

He said his sister, who had been admitted to the hospital with a suspected case of COVID-19, is now at home taking medication while she awaits the result of her test.

“Mi test too and a wait on the result, and mi have an uncle who has also tested positive and him in the hospital too,” said the young man, his voice breaking.

Up to Tuesday, Jamaica had recorded 24,103 novel coronavirus cases since last year March, with 9,696 active cases and 435 confirmed deaths.

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