Only 12 Days from Onset to Death, Pregnant Coronavirus Victim Had ‘White Lungs’

February 1, 2020 Updated: February 5, 2020
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Weng Qiuqiu (alias), a 31-year-old woman from Huanggang City, Hubei Province, fell ill shortly after she became pregnant, suffering from headaches, coughing, breathing difficulties and dying only 12 days later. 

It was said that her lungs “turned white” and she died not knowing what she was suffering from.

According to ThePaper.cn, Weng’s husband, Chen Yong (alias) said that on Jan. 7, his wife went to a produce market to buy fish heads, chicken, and vegetables. When she got home, she made hot pot and had dinner with her family. She ate a lot of food.

“On Jan. 8, my wife said she was not feeling well. She was at home with her 5-year-old daughter on Jan. 9. At noon, she messaged me on WeChat, saying that she had a cold. She asked me to take some cold medicine back after work and buy a box of pregnancy test kits. She suspected she was pregnant.”

“That day, I went home giving her cold medicine and pregnancy test kits. At night, she told me she was pregnant, and I was very happy. She ate a big bowl of rice when I cooked dinner in the evening, but she was not in good spirits,” Chen said.

“On Jan. 10, she woke me up at about 3:00 am, saying she felt sick,” Chen said. “She had a headache, sore throat, and a fever of over 38 degrees (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit). That night, we rode the electric bike and took our daughter to the hospital.”

“We went to the hospital of traditional Chinese medicine in Huanggang City. The doctor said that we needed to wait until daytime for an injection. We took some cold medicine back. On the way home, it suddenly began to rain. When we got home it was well after four o’clock in the morning and my wife was coughing and not sleeping.”

“It rained all day that day, and we went to that hospital again at about 7 a.m. in the morning. After taking an X-ray, the doctor said that her throat was infected and inflamed. Since my wife was pregnant and couldn’t take medicine or injection, we went to Huanggang’s maternal and children health care service center.”

Chen continued, “at that time, it was already noon. We planned to go home first and go to the service center in the afternoon. Back home, I made her millet porridge. She could eat no more after only a few bites.”

“In the afternoon, we went to the maternal and child health care service center. The doctor said pregnant women cannot take medicine or injections. We went back to the hospital of traditional Chinese medicine and went to the respiratory department. By then my wife had difficulty breathing, was too weak to walk, and was noticeably more afraid of the cold than usual.”

“After doing an electrocardiogram (ECG) in the hospital of traditional Chinese medicine, the doctor asked us to transfer to Huanggang Central Hospital. Failing to receive treatment there, we then went to Huanggang Union Hospital.”

“It was 4 to 5 p.m. by then. My wife could no longer speak, and I was very upset…”

Chen continued, “It was a long day, and at 11 p.m., my wife was finally transferred to a 3A hospital in Wuhan.”

“When we got to the hospital in Wuhan, the doctor told me that my wife had a bacterial infection that her lungs had turned white.”

“On the evening of Jan. 10, my wife was taken to a hospital in Wuhan. At first, she was admitted to the fever department. By 1 or 2 a.m. on Jan. 11, she was transferred to the emergency room and was soon transferred again to the intensive care unit.”

“There were many patients in the hospital that night, some of whose families did not wear masks.”

“She was quarantined after being admitted to the fever unit, where doctors said she had become infected with pneumonia of unknown cause.”

“On Jan. 11, I was devastated when the doctor told me that my wife was very ill and needed equipment to modify the treatment plan. The cost was high, at 20,000 yuan ($2,880) a day and with less than a 10 percent chance of survival.”

“I’d been living in a hostel nearby. I couldn’t visit my wife in the hospital, and I spent every day trying to figure out how to raise money. In the first three days after she entered the hospital, it cost 50,000 or 60,000 yuan per day, and thereafter 20,000 yuan per day.”

“I wanted to see my wife, I wanted to talk to her… but had been unable to do so,” Chen said. “Sometimes I called to ask the doctor. Each time I called I was told that she wasn’t awake, and her condition was as serious, or more serious than previously.”

“She was already pregnant and her immune system had declined. The doctor told me that my wife’s hands were all purple, and then her feet turned purple too, and her condition was deteriorating very quickly.”

“After my wife went into intensive care, I never saw her again until she turned into ashes. At noon on Jan. 21, I really couldn’t borrow more money, and my wife’s condition did not get any better. I was really frustrated.”

After spending the borrowed medical expenses which amounted to 200,000 yuan ($28,000), Weng Qiuqiu’s condition did not improve. Chen Yong finally signed the consent to give up treatment.

Weng Qiuqiu died an hour later, at 1:46 p.m. That evening, her body was taken to the funeral home for cremation. The death certificate stated infectious shock, respiratory and circulatory failure, and severe pneumonia.

The day after his wife died on Jan. 22, Chen went to the Wuchang funeral home to retrieve the urn. There were a dozen people outside just like him waiting for their relatives’ remains.

In January, an outbreak of pneumonia from the new coronavirus was spreading across the country from Wuhan, just about 100 miles from Qichun County in Huanggang City, where Weng Qiuqiu lived. Huanggang is the hardest-hit area right next to Wuhan.

Many netizens wrote in response to the post that the pregnant woman and her family’s experience was heartbreaking. 

“The hospital deliberately didn’t diagnose [the patient] with Wuhan pneumonia [the Chinese term for Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV] in order to earn money, because they’re supposed to offer free treatment for Wuhan pneumonia. [They] cremated the body quickly so there was no evidence left,” one netizen wrote.

“Doesn’t the media keep emphasizing that those dead are all old people?” others wondered.

“The Chinese Communist Party conceals the epidemic. How many Chinese people have been killed by it! May God destroys the Communist Party!”