Loving grandmother, 75, had to say goodbye to her family over the phone as she died of coronavirus

The loving grandmother Jane Jay, 75, had to say goodbye to her family through the phone as she was dying in a critical care ward after contracting coronavirus. 

The 75-year-old lady was described as ‘vibrant, larger than life and full of fun’ by her family. After she was admitted to hospital last Wednesday, the only one allowed to visit her was her son Alex, 52. On Monday, doctors warned him they were ‘100 percent’ certain that she would not recover at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

Image credits: East Anglia News Service

Mrs. Jay was a former social worker at Ixworth, Suffolk. She had three children and five grandchildren. In her last hours, she requested to hear the voices of her daughters on the phone. One of her granddaughters, the 22-year-old Molly Jay, shared with Mail Online:

“We could not hug her goodbye. We couldn’t tell her we loved her for the last time in person. We are in shock because it is so surreal. It feels like numbers until it is there and you experience it.”

Jane’s son, Alex, had to wear protective clothing, including a mask, rubber gloves, and a visor when he visited her before she died on Tuesday.

Image credits: East Anglia News Service

He explained that medics allowed only one person to visit his mother, who was in an underlying lung condition at the time. Alex and his sisters had to choose which one of them would be beside their mother in her last days. He says the decision was ‘very difficult’. Jane’s son also shares that being next to his mother felt very surreal.

“When she was in the isolation ward, it was very quiet, very quiet and very calm – almost bizarre. The last time I saw her I had been told by the doctor there was a 100% chance she wasn’t going to make it – then it took me an hour to compose myself before I was ready to go in and see her. I got a bit emotional because there was no hope. I said, ‘Have you told my mother?’ and they said, ‘Yes we have, she knows and she wants to see you.”

During Mrs. Jay’s hospital stay, her son visited her three times. He recalls she was admirably strong and remained optimistic even in her final hours. After his mother’s death, Alex pleaded with people to heed rules about staying indoors to stop spreading the virus.

“You watch the news and you see the figures going up all over the world. We need to keep those who are elderly and vulnerable out of harm by shutting ourselves and them away to give this government a chance to fight it. Do what they tell you. We need to stop mixing with each other.”

The area where Jane was treated was empty, as she was the first coronavirus patient to die in the hospital.

What Alex is grateful for is that the ‘fantastic’ staff were able to give his mother and him extra attention in these hard times. But he also warns that soon the wards will be full, and the medics won’t be able to provide the care and dignity his mother had. Describing last week as a ‘horror movie’, Alex shares:

“Boris Johnson said that everyone will be touched by this and lose family members. My mother said on her deathbed, ‘I hope to god I’m the only one this family loses’. I am beyond shocked and petrified right now, I’ve had many friends get in touch and this is what has made it real for them – hearing this news.”

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