‘Super gran’ Dawn Ivings beats the coronavirus
Pretoria - Having previously conquered pneumonia and a hip operation following a bad fall, “super granny” Dawn Ivings has survived Covid-19.
The 84-year-old fought the virus for five weeks in hospital and survived against all odds.
She has now been reunited with her friends at her Krugersdorp retirement home.
To make her recovery more remarkable, Ivings suffered from several comorbidities - lifelong asthma and emphysema - both of which experts have consistently warned are especially deadly for those who contract Covid-19.
But with a positive attitude and a will to recover, this mother of four did not let this stand in her way.
Her daughter Diane Ivings said she suspected that her mother had contracted Covid-19 the week before she took ill.
“On Thursday, June 18, mom started with cold symptoms and by the next morning we arranged for cold and flu medication to be delivered to her from the chemist.
“By Sunday she had a raging fever and was taken by ambulance to Krugersdorp Hospital where they confirmed she had bronchitis.
“They did a Covid-19 test and sent her back to the retirement home.”
Diane said one of her sisters collected her mother and was exposed to her coughing in the car.
“Somehow her sister never contracted the virus.
“The next day it was confirmed that mom was Covid-19 positive and we naturally were very concerned for her.
“She had a terrible night and by Tuesday morning we arranged for her to be taken by ambulance to Pinehaven Netcare Hospital.”
Diane said residing specialist physician Dr Firdous Variava took incredible care of their mother and kept them in the loop daily.
“We really believe that he saved mom’s life with his immediate action of putting her on steroids, high-flow oxygen, antibiotics and a special concoction of vitamins.
"She was also placed on a drip,” Diane said.
There were a few very worrying days, which did not help when Dawn suffered ICU dementia as well.
“But she is the strongest lady I know and she fought a very good fight,” Diane said.
Her mother had suffered through various symptoms such as nausea, runny tummy, lack of breath, a body rash, ulcers in her mouth and a sore throat.
“She literally lived on yoghurt for a week and lost her voice,” Diane said.
Granny Ivings is also someone who keeps up with modern times and she ensured that she had her modem with her when she went to hospital.
This enabled her to keep in touch with her children on most days via her cellphone, as they were not allowed to visit her.
Diane said this had been a Godsend.
“For the first week her infection markers were worryingly high and her oxygen levels dropped to 88%. But then things slowly started improving She was re-tested for Covid-19 and tested negative.”
Granny Ivings was moved out of ICU and into a special Covid-19 ward on Monday, July 13. She was again tested for Covid-19 and her results were negative for a second time.
“By the following Monday - July 20 - she was transferred to Execu-Me Sub Acute, a step down facility where she was treated like a hero,” Diane said.
“She had to have physio to learn how to walk again and to regain her strength.”
Diane said their mother is an astounding woman who does not let anything get her down - even the pandemic.
Granny Ivings was given a true heroine's welcome when she got back to her retirement home.
She was wearing a red cape with the words “super gran” on the back.
“My creative sister, Julie Legge, made mom’s cape and it will definitely be kept as a token of her bravery and strength through it all,” Diane said.
Ironically, Granny Ivings’s favourite saying is: “Everything will come right.”
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** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za