Guard of honour for couple in their 90s who beat Covid-19

Hospital staff held a guard of honour for Neville and Iris Adams, aged 91 and 90 respectively, when they were discharged after surviving Covid-19.

Kensington couple, 91-year-old Neville Adams and his 90-year-old wife, Iris, were discharged from hospital recently after they both survived Covid-19.

They are now staying with their son, James Adams, in his Panorama home.

Mr Adams was admitted to Netcare N1 City on Friday August 16 and Ms Adams five days later. Neither was aware at first that they were next door to each other.

Mr Adams was being treated for Covid-19, so that the opportunity to tell him didn’t arise to tell him that his wife had been admitted. He was astonished and excited to learn that his wife was also admitted with him, doing well in her recovery and being cared for just next door,” said physician Dr Zia Els. “Given their age and that both have underlying medical conditions – Iris has diabetes and hypertension and Neville has kidney problems – we were deeply concerned about them when they were admitted.

“I am delighted to say, however, that they both did remarkably well and are continuing to recover at home after being discharged,” said Dr Els.

She said Ms Adams had been admitted with similar symptoms to her husband and both had initially been dependent on oxygen.

“Mr Adams also had to spend the first few days in the high-care unit of the hospital. The team treated them conservatively, using less-invasive ventilation techniques, to which they both responded well,” said Dr Els.

Mr Adams said he was relieved that they had both survived the virus.

“We had quite an experience but are both feeling much better now. The doctors and staff at the hospital treated us exceptionally well and we are deeply grateful to all of them,” said Mr Adams.

The hospital’s acting general manager, Morné Kielblock, said staff had given the couple a rousing send-off with a “guard of honour”.

“Under the watchful eye of our outstanding medical and nursing teams, both these senior citizens survived the virus. It was a great privilege for us to treat such a brave couple and a morale booster for all of the doctors and staff to be able to send them home safely,” he said.