Singaporean COVID-19 patient was declared virus-free before she died: Daughter

Singaporean COVID-19 patient was declared virus-free before she died: Daughter

Salha Mesbee
Ms Salha Mesbee was declared virus-free before she died in April. (Photo: Siti Noraisah Ali)

SINGAPORE: Ms Salha Mesbee, Singapore's 15th patient to die due to COVID-19, was declared free of the virus before her death, her daughter told Berita Mediacorp

The 58-year-old Singaporean had travelled to Turkey with her husband before she tested positive for the coronavirus on Mar 26 and died on Apr 30, the news website reported on Monday (May 4). 

She is the youngest patient in Singapore to die from the disease. 

Her eldest child, Ms Siti Noraisah Ali, said that a week before the death, a doctor told her over the phone that her mother was free of the coronavirus. 

"Mama was confirmed free of COVID-19. Unfortunately, her body was unable to hold on any longer," said Ms Noraisah, 37. 

"We were told Mama's condition had deteriorated, the effects of the virus had reached her brain and hope was thin," said the housewife, who operates a home-based business. 

Salha Mesbee family
Ms Salha Mesbee leaves behind her husband, three children and five grandchildren. (Photo: Siti Noraisah Ali)

Her father and two brothers also contracted COVID-19, Ms Noraisah said. 

The four family members were treated at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital but while the three men recovered and were discharged, Ms Salha remained in intensive care after suffering several complications. 

Ms Noraisah told Berita Mediacorp her mother did not have a history of other illnesses. 

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"She was admitted into the intensive care unit because her lungs were weak and her blood pressure low. Then it started to spread to other organs such as her kidney and heart. The doctor said she was one of the more critical patients," said Ms Noraisah. 

When Ms Salha was declared virus-free, her family became hopeful. 

"Her battle with COVID-19 had ended. We were happy because she no longer had the disease," said Ms Noraisah.  

But the hope diminished a day later, when the family received shocking news from the doctor. 

Salha Mesbee
Ms Salha Mesbee and her husband. (Photo: Siti Noraisah Ali)

"On that last night, the doctor examined her eyes. Mama didn't respond to light, so the doctor did a CT scan and found swelling in her brain," she said. 

"The next morning, the doctor confirmed she was brain dead and she was relying on the life support system. We had to make the decision to keep going or to let her go."

Ms Noraisah said the doctors and nurses were determined that her mother received the best treatment possible. "When we met the doctor, we could sense the doctors were doing their best," she said. 

As her mother had been declared virus-free, the family was allowed to bring her body home for the funeral rites. 

"We would've been really worried had we not been allowed to see her for the last time. We're very grateful for that. We're happy we were able to bring her home and conduct normal burial rites," said Ms Noraisah.

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Ms Noraisah told Berita Mediacorp her mother was well-liked and an active member at her mosque and Residents' Committee. 

"Everyone is affected by her death. She was a joyful person who cared about others. They know her character and feel the loss," she said. 

Ms Salha leaves behind her husband, their three children and five grandchildren aged between two and nine. 

Ms Noraisah said her parents had gone to Turkey to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and it was the first time the couple had been on a "honeymoon" since they got married 38 years ago. 

"My parents went everywhere together. At the moment, we are giving our father the full support he needs to move forward," she said. 

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Source: CNA/hs(cy)

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