Woman, 90, dies from coronavirus after refusing respirator for younger patient
An old woman has died from coronavirus after refusing to use a respirator because she had already "had a good life".
Suzanne Hoylaerts, 90, from Lubbeek in Belgium, turned down medical help, saying that the devices should be reserved for younger patients.
She fell ill two weeks ago after losing her appetite and feeling short of breath, but with no coughing or fever.
Her daughter Judith took her to the doctor earlier in March.
Speaking to Belgian publication Het Laatste Nieuws, Judith said: "She had pneumonia and was hospitalised last year."
She was referred to hospital where the doctor in charge said her oxygen saturation was too low.
After being diagnosed with coronavirus, Suzanne's daughter wasn't allowed to see her mother, who was treated alone in an emergency room.
Her last words to her daughter were: "You can't cry. You did everything you could. I had a good life."
Judith said her mother died on March 21, a day after she was admitted to hospital.
"The doctors told me that he refused to use respirators," she said.
Suzanne reportedly told doctors: "I don't want to use artificial respiration. Save it for younger patients. I already had a good life."
Judith said her family still don't know how Suzanne was infected with the Covid-19 virus.
"My mother took the lockdown seriously," she said,
"When I took her to the hospital on Friday, we thought she had mild pneumonia."
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Judith said the hardest part was that she couldn't be with her mother when she died.
"I can't say goodbye to her, and I don't even have a chance to attend her funeral," she said.
Belgium has almost 12,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, after a surge of more than 1,000 in the past day.
So far, 513 people have died in Belgium, up 82 in one day, a large rise in a country of fewer than 12 million people.
- World Health Organisation
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