'I fought to live': Mom shares how she survived Covid, but lost her husband

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'I fought to live': Mom shares how she survived Covid, but lost her husband
'I fought to live': Mom shares how she survived Covid, but lost her husband

Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, and while the option to get vaccinated is there, many people are still hesitating. 

Local mother and grandmother Jennifer wrote to Parent24 to share her heart wrenching experience of Covid-19, asking only that she hopes that by sharing her story more people will choose to be vaccinated.

Read her story here:

"I got my second jab today, and the boys their first one. It was bitter, hollow, without my husband Malcolm being there to get his second jab. 

Getting it brought a flood of memories of Covid to the forefront of my brain. We were both sick at the same time, so even though I was unaware of it, I was becoming delirious and not thinking clearly. 

I felt like the sound of Niagra falls was rushing through my chest. I could not make it stop, and it was driving me insane. I watched Malcolm put the sugar into the peanut butter and did not realize that his confusion was actually delirium, I just thought he was making a mistake and not thinking. 

You don't feel pain, but your senses are heightened. The only thing I could focus on was counting out the 16 cortisone pills we had to take along with a slew of other medication. 

I think I suspected how deathly ill we both were

Right until the end, Malcolm put me first. When I wanted to share my oxygen, he refused, insisting I needed it more. We forced him to use it, but it was not as long as I would have liked. He insisted his CPAP machine was enough. 

As I said, I was unaware of my own deterioration. This rushing sound inside my chest was all I could focus on. 

On the night of the 22nd July, when Malcolm fell, and I had to send my youngest son Matthew to fetch my eldest son Wayne to help us get him back into bed, I think I suspected how deathly ill we both were. 

A decision was made to call an ambulance to get him to the hospital, even though it was against his wishes. By then, it was the early hours of the 23rd July. As they loaded him onto the gurney, deep in my subconscious, I knew I wouldn't see him again and I called out to him that I loved him. 

The boys made sure to squeeze his hand and tell him they loved him, and he responded by squeezing back. Fortunately, one of the emergency room doctors was a friend of Wayne's and was able to give us regular feedback. 

My world ended right then

They said they were doing all they could to bring him through. 

I don't remember that day. I remember Wayne calling out to me and him and Matthew coming into my bedroom and telling me that he had passed. 

My world ended right then as far as I was concerned. I was going to follow him, happily. Our family and friends could not get to us as we were Covid positive, so the three of us only had each other, and I wasn't of much use to anyone. 

I remember Wayne telling me that my mom was dropping off food outside. God has a wonderful way of closing off our minds when we cannot deal with something. 

They needed me more than ever now 

That night, in what felt like the middle of the night, I woke up in my chair to find both my sons sitting on the floor in front of me crying and telling me that if I didn't start fighting back against the virus, they were going to send me to hospital as well. 

They also told me that they needed me more than ever now and that my grandsons needed me. That somehow got into my consciousness and that is exactly what I started doing. I fought to live. 

I remember endless oxygen level tests and finger pricks and being subjected to eucalyptus steams on the advice of a friend who was communicating with Wayne. 

At times it was very confusing

Overnight my boys became nurses, and I had to succumb to the indignity of letting them help me with personal matters. At times it was very confusing. 

Half of me wanted to follow Malcolm and half of me wanted to help my boys and grandsons. My poor folks went through hell not being able to access me. 

My sons both matured overnight. 

My brothers both wanted to fly in but were told firmly to stay where they were. It was just too dangerous, and losing Malcolm had pretty much shocked the whole family. 

We did not want any more empty spaces

There was suddenly this empty space, and we did not want any more empty spaces. 

I do not have any idea how long it took for me to get healthy enough to actually start grieving. It was probably a few days to a week. 

Even then, I was unable to walk out of my bedroom. Bathroom breaks were as far as I could go. Wayne slept on my bed every night, although I doubt he got much sleep because when I did wake up, he was always awake asking me if I was ok. 

Eventually, the rushing sound subsided, and I became aware of my heart beating instead, which was a better sound. 

I have healed enough to manage to walk from my bedroom to the lounge, but the doctor has warned me that it's a long recovery road and that there will be setbacks. I am ready for them. 

There is this huge debate about whether or not the jab is good for us. 

My personal opinion is that I do not want to ever have Covid again, and if this keeps me Covid free, then I am glad to be jabbed. I would not wish Covid on my worst enemy." 


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