Coronavirus: Woman with Covid-19 'didn't want to die alone'

By Tara Mills
BBC News NI

Published
image source, family photo
image captionJosephine Brown will be cremated on Monday

The daughter of a woman who died with Covid-19 has appealed to people to stay at home over the Easter Holidays.

Josephine Brown died at the Mater Hospital on Tuesday, two weeks after contracting the virus.

Her youngest of four daughters, Rhonda Tait, said her family never imagined her mummy would be one of the victims of coronavirus.

In the past 24 hours four more people in Northern Ireland died after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

The total in Northern Ireland is now 82, while the number of those confirmed to have the virus has gone up by 138 and stands at 1,477.

"My mummy was 70 and she wasn't ready to die. She wanted to live and she really didn't want to die alone."

media captionRhonda Tait's mother, Josephine Brown, died in hospital after contracting coronavirus

The family were not able to visit her in hospital and depended on daily updates from the hospital.

"The nurses and doctors were amazing. They told us they would be with her because we couldn't be with her," she said.

"This is horrific, she isn't able to have the funeral she would have wanted.

"She isn't even allowed clothes, she's wearing a shroud."

image source, family photo
image captionJosephine's family were unable to be with her in hospital

Ms Tait said her mum was in lockdown for 19 days before developing a temperature and a sore throat.

Within days her condition deteriorated.

"She phoned me one night and said she'd fallen out of bed. At that stage I had to go round and I looked through the letterbox and she was crying for her own mummy.

"I called an ambulance and they took her while we just watched. We weren't allowed anywhere near her."

That separation continued in hospital and since she died on Tuesday, the family cannot be with her, or with each other.

"The most we've been able to do is a WhatsApp talk," Ms Tait said.

Mrs Brown will be cremated on Monday, with the family only able to watch as her coffin is placed into the hearse.

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