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Gants Hill 98-year-old coronavirus survivor battling to make it to 100

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:02 23 April 2020

Freida Goldstone (left) is recovering from the coronavirus. Picture: Sharon Goldstone

Freida Goldstone (left) is recovering from the coronavirus. Picture: Sharon Goldstone

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The daughter of a 98-year-old Gants Hill coronavirus survivor recounts the “rollercoaster” ride from thinking her mum was going to die to beating the virus.

Daughter Sharon thinks her mum seeing this card helped give her the will to live. Picture: Sharon GoldstoneDaughter Sharon thinks her mum seeing this card helped give her the will to live. Picture: Sharon Goldstone

Just last month Freida Goldstone was healthy, alert and playing cards with her grandson at the Vi and John Rubens Care Home.

At the end of March though she developed a bad cold and cough and her family suspected it might be coronavirus.

Her daughter Sharon Goldstone was used to visiting her a few times a week but found herself unable to see her mum as her condition got worse.

On April 8, Freida’s GP told Sharon they could either take her to hospital and risk being exposed to infections or stay at the care home where she was comfortable.

Sharon said everyday is a battle for Freida to survive but she is hoping she makes it to her 100th birthday. Picture: Sharon GoldstoneSharon said everyday is a battle for Freida to survive but she is hoping she makes it to her 100th birthday. Picture: Sharon Goldstone

Sharon said: “Because we couldn’t visit her and everyone was isolated, if we left her there then she would just die with no family to visit so we thought let’s take a chance.”

Freida was taken to King George Hospital where they found she had a severe chest infection and she tested positive for coronavirus.

In hospital Freida’s condition got worse and her family thought she was going to die.

On Monday, April 13 Sharon put together a care package with pictures of her three children, nine grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren and a mobile phone and waited outside in her mask to find a nurse to deliver it.

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A nurse read the card to Freida and Sharon was finally able to speak to her on the phone.

The next day her condition got even worse and Freida was refusing to eat.

Sharon said: “I felt helpless and wanted to be by her side holding her hand.”

Two days later though a doctor told Sharon her mum’s levels were back to normal and she was clear of any active infections and recommended transferring her back to her care home.

Once there, Freida’s care home nurse told Sharon she still had symptoms but a decision was made to not take her back to hospital and to see if she would improve there.

Sharon said she thinks her mum seeing pictures of her family gave her the will to live again and she is continuing that battle every day hoping she’ll make it to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Magda Smith, BHRUT chief medical officer, said: “We understand this is an anxious time for Freida’s family and appreciate why they may have concerns.

“We are constantly monitoring the guidance for discharging patients recovering from Covid-19.

“Freida was only discharged once a clinical decision was made that she was medically able to return to the care home for ongoing support.

“This was following a discussion with staff at the care home to agree this process, in line with national guidelines.”


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