Son dies in dad’s arms from Covid-19 while waiting for treatment at hospital
Durban - "HOLD on boy, hold on boy . . . "
These were the last words Thumba Naidoo said to his son as he and his wife, Sandra, watched him take his last breath.
Dineshren Naidoo, 39, of Brookdale, Phoenix, was a well-known event planner and community worker. He died on New Year's Day, while waiting for treatment in hospital.
"Watching your child and not being able to help him is the worst feeling in the world," said Sandra Naidoo. "It is a feeling that I will be haunted by for the rest of my life. No parent, no matter how old your child is, should go through what we have been through."
She said Naidoo became ill in December and was taking over the counter medication.
"On New Year's Eve, he told us his oxygen levels were dropping. The paramedics managed to stabilise him. The next day, the same thing happened and my husband and I took him to the hospital. The staff at the first hospital could not attend to him because there were no beds. We went to another hospital and we had to wait in line."
Sandra said her husband took Naidoo to their car to rest, while he waited for his turn to be treated.
"Dineshren needed to go to the toilet and my husband took him back into the hospital. I think his oxygen levels dropped again and he died at the toilet door. My husband held him and told him to 'hold on' and that his turn for treatment would be next. But it was too late. I knew my baby was gone."
She said his death was unexpected because he did not have underlying conditions.
"He was a fit young man. He exercised and took care of his health. Dineshren was always filled with energy. He was our pillar of strength. He was everything to us. Now it is our faith in God and prayer that is helping us through this period. My son was spiritual and I believe he will be guiding our family."
Sandra said they had received messages of condolence from Naidoo's friends in countries including India and Canada.
"I am now coming to learn of how many lives my son had touched."
Naidoo belonged to the Shree Ganesha Temple in Phoenix and was part of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He promoted the Indian culture through the Kumari Ambigay Dance Insitute where he served as a media spokesperson.
He assisted with feeding unprivileged children and communities and was one of triplets.
Naidoo is survived by his parents, sister Kuveshni, and brothers Dean and Deeloshan as well as his two nephews and three nieces.
His cremation was held at the Verulam Crematorium.