In the modern world, social media has helped foster a society of self-centeredness. Many people today are more concerned about good-looking selfies than they are with the well-being of their neighbors.
For one compassionate, elderly woman in Belgium, that was certainly not the case.
Ninety-year-old Suzanne Hoylaerts, a coronavirus patient, reportedly refused to be put on a ventilator earlier this month, asking her doctors to save it for younger patients.
She died March 22, two days after being hospitalized, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
Suzanne Hoylaerts, 90, sick from #COVID2019 refused the breathing assistance. She told the doctors : “I had a good life, keep it for the younger ones”.
She died few days ago.
We will not forget her sacrifice.https://t.co/UH2odgAH5t
— Nicolas Quénel (@NicolasQuenel) March 27, 2020
“I don’t want to use artificial respiration. Save it for younger patients. I already had a good life,” Hoylaerts reportedly told doctors, who later relayed her words to her daughter Judith, according to the Daily Mail’s translation of an article on the Belgian news site 7sur7.
Hoylaerts wasn’t the only one affected by her decision to refuse care. Her death was quite hard on her daughter as well.
Judith told 7sur7 her elderly mother “took the lockdown seriously” and had been in isolation before her admittance to the hospital, according to Complex.
Judith also said her mother spoke to her shortly before being admitted, saying, “You must not cry. You did everything you could.”
“I can’t say goodbye to her, and I don’t even have a chance to attend her funeral,” Judith added.
This stunning show of self-sacrifice from Hoylaerts comes amidst the devastating coronavirus pandemic, which has left hospitals around the world short on supplies.
Her choice to forgo treatment may give one more patient a fighting chance to survive.
While the virus is known for its effect on the elderly, Hoylaerts’ concern for younger patients is not unwarranted.
In the very same country of Belgium, a 12-year-old girl reportedly became the youngest known European to die from COVID-19, according to Reuters.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 31, 2020
At a time when the world seems to be falling apart, it can often be hard to appreciate the beauty of life.
Suzanne Hoylaerts didn’t have any problem seeing that beauty. With her final act, she only hoped to give others a chance to see it as well.
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