90-Year-Old Woman Dies From CCP Virus After Deferring Ventilator to Younger Patients

A 90-year-old Belgian woman who tested positive for the CCP virus has passed away after telling her doctors to save the ventilator for younger patients. Her family mourns their loss as others acknowledge the elderly woman’s selfless sacrifice.

Suzanne Hoylaerts, from Binkom in Belgium, was taken to the hospital by her daughter, Judith, on March 20, 2020, after losing her appetite and falling short of breath, reported Fox News. She was then separated from her family and placed in isolation after testing positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

‘I had a good life, keep this for the younger’ – What a hero. RIP.

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Judith told the news media that her mother lived alone and “took the lockdown seriously,” as she had survived pneumonia in 2019. Before being placed in isolation, Judith regaled, her mother had told her, “You must not cry. You did everything you could.”

As per Het Laatste Nieuws, a Dutch newspaper based in Belgium, after an examination revealed that Suzanne’s oxygen saturation was too low, the 90-year-old was offered a ventilator. Reportedly, she told doctors, “I don’t want to use artificial respiration. Save it for younger patients. I already had a good life.”

Suzanne passed away on March 22, just 48 hours after she was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit. Her family remains unsure as to how she contracted the virus.

In the wake of her mother’s death, Judith explained to Het Laatste Nieuws, “I can’t say goodbye to her, and I don’t even have a chance to attend her funeral.”

Illustration – Shutterstock | srisakorn wonglakorn

On the advice of the Belgian government, while funerals and cremations “in close circles” are still allowed, all events are subject to social distancing measures. Additionally, Judith remains in quarantine after exposure to the virus through her mother.

Touched by Suzanne’s selflessness, many social media users left comments online in remembrance of the selfless sacrifice of the 90-year-old Belgian woman. According to one tweet that has gone viral, the caption read, “Not all #Heroes wear capes!”

While one social media user added, “Wow, respect to this lady, RIP.”

Nurses transport a patient into the Clinique Saint-Joseph hospital in Liege, Belgium, on March 20, 2020 (©Getty Images | BRUNO FAHY)

Suzanne’s surrender of her ventilation machine is nonetheless indicative of growing concern. In the wake of the CCP virus pandemic, there is a global shortage of ventilators for the sheer number of patients that need them.

A report from Imperial College London published on March 16, 2020, even estimates that as much as 30 percent of patients hospitalized by the virus are likely to require mechanical ventilation. The scientific and medical communities, however, are responding.

The “Breath4life,” a new type of ventilator developed by UCLouvain University in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, unveiled on March 26, 2020 (©Getty Images | POOL DAINA LELARDIC)

Ventilators control the oxygen saturation and airflow in and out of a patient’s lungs; in the case of more severe CCP virus cases, the assistance of a ventilator may become crucial. Numerous companies around the world are working on designing and producing additional ventilators for hospitals and treatment centers as demand increases.

As per the BBC, some unlikely names have joined in the efforts to help. Dyson, the vacuum cleaner company, is one of them; the vacuum cleaner moguls have expedited the production of 10,000 ventilators to order.

A ventilator pictured during a doctors’ tutorial at the Universitaetsklinikum Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany, on March 25, 2020 (©Getty Images | AXEL HEIMKEN)

A team of engineers and researchers has also designed the “Ventil,” a mechanical splitting device that allows for the ventilation of two patients at the same time from the same machine.

The goal of all designers and researchers, working tirelessly toward a solution, remains the same: to build new ventilation machines in order to help keep people alive.

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Author: Louise Bevan