Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

16.06 20 Feb 2021


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A woman who lost her mother to COVID-19 wants people to know she was "not just one of these numbers on the news".

Carolann Haskins' mother Frances passed away on February 1st just five days after testing positive for the virus.

She contracted pneumonia and she died in her sleep at the age of 63 in her own home in Newbridge Co, Kildare.

Frances was overweight and had high blood pressure, but otherwise had no underlying health conditions, Carolann said.

After she passed away, a doctor told Carolann that her mother was beginning to develop lung problems but it was at too early a stage to be detected.

"The pneumonia attacked her lungs and just swept her away so quickly without her getting a fighting chance, Carolann told Lunchtime Live this week.

Frances' partner also tested positive for coronavirus and has been in hospital for the past two weeks "fighting for his life" on high levels of oxygen.

Woman who lost her mother to COVID-19: 'My mam is not a number on the news'

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"The scary thing is that it affects everyone so differently," Carolann said.

"Nobody knows when you're going to get it, where you're going to get it and it's only now that I'm starting to learn about the virus because my Mam has passed.

"I've gone crazy going on COVID pages trying to find out how I could have helped her and it's something as simple as someone checking her oxygen and it could have saved her life.

"A lot of people who are isolating at home with COVID have these little oximeters that they can check their oxygen and they're as little as €15, and I'm actually after buying one because I have such fear of dying from this virus."

Support

Carolann contends that a lot of lives would be saved if people just knew when it's too late to stay at home and when to go to the hospital.

She has to remind herself when she wakes up every morning that her mother is not here, "because it really just hasn't hit home".

"I've [recently] had a little baby, and it's gone from congratulations on your little girl, to condolence cards on my mantlepiece, and it's been crazy," she said.

"The only way I know to keep going is to try and keep her memory alive and let everyone know that my mam is not one of these numbers on the news.

"She was a real person and she could have lived another ten years if this virus didn't get to her."

Carolann has set up a campaign called 'Remembering Francis' to provide more information to people who are self-isolating.

She also established a support group called 'Loved Ones Lost to COVID' because she was "going out of her mind" trying to talk to people who couldn't relate to her loss about what happened.

The Facebook group now has over 400 members.

Main image: File photo. Credit: Jdidi Wassim / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

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