- A KZN woman has spoken of the horror of losing three family members due to Covid-19.
- Laurisha Beepath lost her stepfather, mother and fiancé in the past three weeks.
- Her local community has rallied around her in the wake of the deaths.
"I have lost half my family in three weeks. I am stressed and heartbroken from every side. I have no-one to turn to."
Those are the heartbreaking words of a Pietermaritzburg woman who has lost her fiancé, her stepfather and mother to Covid-19 in the past three weeks.
Laurisha Beepath, 30, a buyer at a store, tested positive for Covid-19 on 4 July, the same day her boyfriend, 32-year-old Ritesh Dookie, died. Her stepfather, Pranesh Sewparsad, 53, died on 14 July and then her mother, Sonitha Beepath, 51, died on Tuesday morning, leaving Laurisha, her 23-year-old brother and three-year-old sister devastated.
Beepath said her family's test results were received after they had died, but they were treated as Covid-19 positive and hence they were not allowed to see them or have ordinary funerals for them. She said on 2 July her boyfriend was not feeling well and his "cough sounded funny and he couldn’t breathe”, so they decided to admit him to hospital.
"Two days later he was dead. It was unbelievable. We had planned to marry this year but because of the virus we postponed the wedding to next year. I last spoke to Ritesh about four hours before he died. All of this is just too difficult to comprehend. I cannot even comprehend anything that is going on right now," she said.
"I never, ever expected our family to be hit so viciously by this virus. We took it seriously and observed the protocols.
"But we all were out working at our respective jobs [besides my mom]. We actually do not know where we picked it up from," said Beepath.
She said prior to her boyfriend falling sick, he had been retrenched, together with her brother, and now with her stepfather’s death, they had been robbed of their breadwinners. This caused Beepath to issue a plea on Tuesday for financial assistance to enable her to have her mother’s funeral.
"She had a funeral policy but it had lapsed and we didn’t know about it. I’m right down to rock bottom and had to ask for help to give my mom a funeral. The community was amazing and assisted me in a matter of hours and I am extremely grateful," she said.
Beepath said she watched her fiancé and stepfather’s funeral via video calls, but was able to attend her mother’s short and quick funeral ceremony on Wednesday as she had completed her quarantine period.
"I have lost everyone and everything. I have nothing. My little sister doesn’t even know what is happening. It breaks our heart when she looks for her mom and dad. How do we tell her that they are not coming back," said Beepath, who, together with her brother and his wife will be taking care of her younger sister.
"We just have to pick up the pieces and try to start our lives all over again. Never did we ever imagine this would be our fate.
"I’m begging people to take care and be safe. This virus is not a joke. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Please do not bring this upon yourself by not taking care," said Beepath.