Newborn twins lose mom to Covid-19

17 January 2021 - 00:00
Rozaan November from Mossel Bay was admitted to hospital with abdominal pains when she was seven months’ pregnant. Two days after admission she was diagnosed with Covid-19, and her twin boys were delivered prematurely via emergency C-section.
Rozaan November from Mossel Bay was admitted to hospital with abdominal pains when she was seven months’ pregnant. Two days after admission she was diagnosed with Covid-19, and her twin boys were delivered prematurely via emergency C-section.
Image: Supplied

Throughout her pregnancy, Rozaan November was excited to meet the twins she was carrying.

But she never even got to hold them. November, 37, a domestic worker from Mossel Bay, died from Covid-10 complications after giving birth to her sons Reece and Rylie.

November died 10 days after an emergency C-section to deliver her premature babies at seven months on December 29.

She had been admitted to hospital three days before the operation while experiencing abdominal pains. She tested positive for Covid-19 and her health kept deteriorating, prompting the hospital to deliver the twins.

Rozaan November lost her battle to Covid-19 and died during the birth of her twin boys.
Rozaan November lost her battle to Covid-19 and died during the birth of her twin boys.
Image: supplied

On January 6, November called her sister and mother. It was a brief call in which she asked for their prayers.

She did not sound like someone who was critically ill, said her sister, Trifosa Davids.

“The doctors say there is nothing they can do for me, please pray for me,” Rozaan reportedly said to her mother, Rosemarie Plaaitjies.

Two days later, the family could not reach her on the phone.

“On Saturday we received a call from the hospital, informing us that she was no more,” said Davids.

“The fact that we could talk to her almost every day gave us hope that she would beat the virus. She was young, not too sick and asked for prayers; it made sense for us not to be worried and think she would live.”

On Tuesday the twins were finally discharged.

“They were all Rozaan talked about, she wondered what they would look like, if they would look like her or me,” said husband Riaan, 36. The couple wed two months ago. Rozaan had two other children from a previous relationship.

Riaan said he was still trying to shake off the feeling of numbness, and was struggling to make sense of his loss.

“I am feeling a lot of things but I cannot show or grieve because the boys need me… It hurts deeply, I know no greater pain.”

Riaan is also still grieving for his father, who died on December 27, also due to Covid-19.

He is grateful for the community rallying around his family, as they have been struggling since he lost his job as a handyman during the hard lockdown in April.

Baby formula, nappies and clothes are some of the items people have flocked to deliver.

He said the twins are doing well. “They are tiny but strong,” said Riaan. The outpouring of love and support the family had received is keeping him going, he said.

Riaan and Rozaan November
Riaan and Rozaan November
Image: Supplied

One staunch supporter is local resident Georgia Agryopoulos, 43, a private-school teacher and mother of two. She highlighted the family’s plight on social media.

“Their story somewhat resonated with my own. I had my children very late because doctors said I was infertile,” she said. “When it eventually happened, I grappled with a lot of challenges as an older mom. Their grandmother will endure similar challenges.”

Agryopoulos has committed to taking care of the twins’ day-care and primary school needs until at least grade 7, saying she understands the importance of education.

A bursary fund has been set up to assist the twins. Davids said the family has been left distraught by November’s death.

“It came as a big shock because we were in contact every day. She kept us updated from the moment she contracted the virus,” she said.

She said November’s elder daughter, Kayla, 7, is crippled by pain. “She refuses to accept that her mother is no more and keeps on asking when she is coming home.”

Davids said they are already dreading the day they will have to tell the twins how their mother died. Rozaan was laid to rest yesterday.

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