Heroic OAP sacrifices herself to save younger coronavirus victims – ‘I’ve had good life’

Suzanne Hoylaerts from Binkom, near Lubbeek in Belgium, refused a potentially life-saving ventilator to help her battle the coronavirus disease before she died in hospital. The pensioner was admitted to hospital after displaying COVID-19 symptoms including shortness of breath and a loss of appetite.

She was then placed in isolation after testing positive for the invisible killer disease.

However, this is where Ms Hoylaerts quickly deteriorated and doctors offered her a ventilator.

But she refused, reportedly telling doctors: “I don’t want to use artificial respiration.

“Save it for younger patients. I already had a good life.”


She died two days after being admitted to hospital.

Her grieving daughter Judithtold Dutch newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws: “I can’t say goodbye to her and I don’t even have a chance to attend her funeral.”

The family are unsure how Ms Hoylaerts came to contract coronavirus because she was following the strict lockdown rules in Belgium.

Belgium on Tuesday imposed its coronavirus lockdown restrictions to continue until April 12.

The nation imposed a lockdown on Wednesday, March 18 in effect for two-and-a-half weeks until April 5.

The EU has banned all non-essential travel to 30 countries in Europe.

Belgium’s coronavirus death toll is at 705, with 12,775 confirmed cases.

The news comes after a 12-year-old Belgian girl was named as the youngest victim to die of coronavirus in Europe.

Dr Emmanuel Andre, a government spokesman in Belgium, said the death of somebody so young “is a very rare occurrence” and the tragedy “shook us”.

Mr Andre said it was “an emotionally difficult moment, because it involves a child, and it has also upset the medical and scientific community.”

He added: “We are thinking of her family and friends. It is an event that is very rare, but one which upsets us greatly.”

Spokesman Steven Van Gucht said the girl had a fever for three days before her death and tested positive for coronavirus.

It comes amid concerns of a global shortage of ventilators that will be needed to treat critically ill patients suffering from coronavirus.

Ventilators are used to help people with respiratory difficulties to breathe.

They are high-tech versions of the “iron lungs” that kept people alive into the 1950s during fierce polio epidemics.

Worldwide, the devices have become shorthand for the rapid advance of the disease – but officials fear their stocks are inadequate.

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