Coronavirus: Twin's warning after sister's Covid-19 death

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Caroline Saunby and husband VictorImage source, Family photo
Image caption,
Caroline Saunby's husband Victor is now looking after their twin boys alone

A woman who died from coronavirus had been putting up with what she thought was tonsillitis, her sister has said.

Caroline Saunby, 48, from New Marske on Teesside, became unwell on Friday. She improved slightly but then collapsed on Sunday.

Her six-year-old twin boys and husband are now waiting to see if they have caught the virus.

Her identical twin, Sarah Jarvis, said her sister thought her sore throat was "nothing major at all".

"Why would she go to work if she thought she was going to die?" she said.

After two days ignoring her suspected tonsillitis, Mrs Saunby developed a "raging fever", sickness and diarrhoea but her husband, Victor, was advised that, unless she had extreme breathing difficulties, she should stay at home.

He called an ambulance when she collapsed, which arrived within minutes, followed by another, then a paramedic car and the air ambulance.

Mrs Saunby was given CPR and taken to hospital but died later the same day.

'Waiting to see'

Ms Jarvis said the extended family - who all live within five minutes of each other - were distraught because they could not go near Mrs Saunby at the time and cannot go near each other now.

"We can't console the boys. Vic's had to deep clean his own house to try and make it as safe as possible because no-one's allowed in," she said.

Mr Saunby and his children are now in quarantine for 14 days.

"They've all been exposed so we're just waiting to see - and we can't get tested to see whether they're going to get ill," Ms Jarvis said.

Ms Jarvis said she was worried about what will happen if her sister's husband becomes unwell too.

"Those boys have lost their mother. If he got sick how can you leave those boys in the house with him?" she said.

"If he shows symptoms he would have to go to hospital and I would have to go and live in the house and take the risk."

Ms Jarvis said she wanted to warn people "how serious this is".

"If people do start to take it more seriously and more lives are saved, well hopefully it won't be in vain, this terrible thing that's happened to us," she said.

A JustGiving page set up to help the family has raised more than £15,000.

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