Triple tragedy as mom, dad and daughter die from Covid-19 three days apart

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Zoë (26), her father Greg (63) and mother Angela Freshwater (52) all died three days apart from Covid-19.PHOTO:
Zoë (26), her father Greg (63) and mother Angela Freshwater (52) all died three days apart from Covid-19.PHOTO:

Covid-19 has taken an enormous toll on one Queensburgh, Durban, family after killing the father, mother, and their daughter three days apart from one another.

A relative, Catherine Janse van Rensburg, said Greg (63), Angela (52) and Zoë Freshwater (26) all received their positive Covid-19 results on December 16 after they had felt sick.

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Zoë, who was a teacher at Highway College, was due to get married to her childhood sweetheart on December 19.

“My uncle started getting flu-like symptoms on December 2. My aunt told him to go to the doctor, but he brushed it off.

“Then Zoë also got sick, but she first thought it was exhaustion from work, planning the wedding and preparing her new flat with her fiancé for after they got married.

“About a week later my aunt also started feeling sick and they finally decided to get tested on December 15. Their results came back positive on December 16,” said Janse van Rensburg.

She said Angela started getting worse the next day and was taken to Westville Hospital.

“At the hospital they had to put her on an oxygen machine, but they didn’t do that. Instead, she was kept isolated in a makeshift room for five hours and was put on a drip. She couldn’t handle it and called her husband to come get her, he was also too weak at home and had to send someone to fetch her.”

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Janse van Rensburg said her aunt returned home but since her condition was deteriorating she was admitted to St Augustine’s Hospital on December 19.

She said her uncle Greg was also admitted to the same hospital three days afterwards. On the morning of December 23, her aunt was moved to the intensive care unit and later that day Greg died.

Greg Freshwater and his daughter Zoë.PHOTO:

On learning about her husband’s death, Janse van Rensburg said her aunt went straight into a coma.

“On the 24th Zoë was also admitted, and they had to repair her lung on Christmas day because it was damaged from all the coughing. She died on December 26 and her mother died on December 29,” said Janse van Rensburg through her tears.

She said the whole family, and Zoë’s fiancé, were all devastated and shattered by their deaths.

“Zoë and her fiancé had known one another since they were about 11-years-old. They were high school sweethearts, you know those people who are just destined to be together, that was them.

“They were a God-fearing born-again family. Aunt Angela worked as a PA for a company in Hilcrest and Uncle Greg was a secretary at their church. They loved one another and were a happy family. They loved animals and my uncle was a train fanatic. We are all very devastated by their deaths,” said Janse van Rensburg.

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She said their bodies were being cremated on Thursday but no final funeral arrangements have been made.

Janse van Rensburg, who stays in Johannesburg, said another uncle of hers had told other family members who stayed far, including herself, not to come down to KZN for the funeral.

“We hope that this will serve as an awareness to other people out there so that people understand that this Covid is not a joke and people shouldn’t take it for granted. I spoke to a nurse from the hospital where my aunt was and she said there were no beds, as much as the KZN Health MEC is saying there are beds available, people in the hospitals are saying they are full.

“They are saying they are understaffed and are suffering, and that people need to wake up because we’re putting pressure on the healthcare system. We need to be careful and not ignorant,” she said.


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