Less than a month after losing her daughter and caregiver Beryl Junior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), 94-year-old Lucilda Bair died of the said illness.

The residents of Top Hill district in Lluidas Vale Division, St. Catherine, both passed away at Spanish Town Hospital.

Their family claimed that the two contracted the virus at the medical facility, adding that they went there for non-COVID issues days after testing negative for the virus.

In relation to the 56-year-old daughter, Junior, the first test she did at the hospital on the day she was admitted also showed that she did not have COVID-19, the family contends.

Junior died 17 days before her mom passed away on September 29. Her elderly mom was never told about her demise, the family said.

Plans are being made to have the mother and daughter buried at the same time in their Top Hill family plot.

There is no record, and elderly residents have no recollection of one funeral ever being held for two relatives in the rural community.

The family, though busy planning to give the duo a proper send-off, is still struggling to come to grips with the death of the two most senior persons in the household.

“It is more difficult than what we expect. At times we break down. We are not perfect; we break down real bad to the point where everybody is crying and we just have to hug each other,” said Stacey-Ann Lynch, one of Junior’s daughters.

She added: “The two people who held our family together are gone. We have teeth and tongue meet, but those two would have held us the most.”

Lynch stated that her grandmother, Bair, died after being removed from the ward reserved for COVID-19 patients at Spanish Town Hospital.

“We felt so excited when they said she moved and she was on a ward [in the hospital],” Lynch added. When she went to the hospital ward to visit her grandmother, she noticed that her health had deteriorated badly compared to when she was just brought into the medical facility.

In the meantime, the family didn’t get an opportunity to see Junior, who died in isolation on the COVID-19 ward. The personal phone she had on the ward is nowhere to be found, the family said.

Not seeing her mom alive for a final time, Lynch said, is mind-boggling.

“We also have learnt from this that each moment you get with your loved ones, show them and let them know how much you really appreciate them,” she further commented. “We showed mommy and grandma love, but we are just sorry that we didn’t get the opportunity to tell them more.”

By Horace Mills, Managing Editor


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