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Father recalls devastating journey of losing wife, unborn child to COVID-19

Crystal Mohamed (28) worked for a pharmaceutical company but it’s not clear where she contracted the virus.

28-year-old Crystal Mohamed. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - A Reiger Park father has recalled his heart-breaking journey of losing both his wife and unborn child to COVID-19.

Crystal Mohamed (28) worked for a pharmaceutical company, but it’s not clear where she contracted the virus.

Widower Rashad Mohamed and his six-year-old daughter are trying to accept their new reality after the dream of becoming a family of four was shattered by the coronavirus.

Mohamed told Eyewitness News he now has a new ritual with his daughter. "Every morning we have our thing - we take her mother’s picture [and] I tell her to talk to her mother's picture – ‘Mommy, I miss you, I still love you’."

Crystal was six-months pregnant and was supposed to go on early maternity leave as a precautionary measure during the pandemic, but she died just days before wrapping up at work.

“Monday, she went to hospital. Thursday, they put her on a ventilator. I spoke to her, she was okay. On Friday, I was informed that my wife had passed away.”

Mohamed remembered how his wife Crystal's COVID-19 test results came back positive and, just days later, she battled to breathe on her own.

After being cared for at home by her husband, the pregnant mother ended up in hospital on a ventilator.

Mohamed said less than two weeks after testing positive both his wife and his unborn baby boy passed away.

“One of the nurses even cried when my wife passed away because she said she spent the whole [of] Thursday afternoon with my wife to make sure she was okay.”

On the same day Mohamed buried his wife, he fell ill and was left bedridden after tests confirmed he too contracted the virus.

"If I had more knowledge about COVID-19 I could have handled it better, like if I had known not getting oxygen was the most severe symptom."

After all the heartbreak, grief, and trauma he experienced, Mohammed said he was outraged by people in denial over the dangers of COVID-19.

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