United Kingdom

'Fit and healthy' air stewardess, 40, is killed by Covid

The family of a mother-of-five who died with Covid-19 has shared herfinal Facebook posts voicing her fear that 'she might not make it'.

Karen Hobbs, 40, suffered a cardiac arrest and died on January 19 in an induced coma, weeks after testing positive for coronavirus.

Known as a 'beautiful' and loving mother, Ms Hobbs, a former EasyJet air stewardess fell ill with the virus before Christmas and was taken to hospital on December 27.

Karen Hobbs, left, pictured with her brother Chris, centre, and sister Rachel, right, passed away on January 19. She was admitted to hospital in Cardiff with Covid-19 on December 27 and was placed into a coma on January 2

Ms Hobbs pleaded with people from her hospital bed to obey the Covid-19 restrictions having seen a woman die in the ward

On January 2, Ms Hobbs said she was being placed in an induced coma and might never see her children again. Unfortunately, the mother of five passed away on January 19

Despite previously being 'fit and healthy', the Cardiff mother's condition quickly deteriorated and the decision was made to put her into an induced coma.

As someone who rarely left the house during the pandemic, it is unclear how she caught the virus.

Now, her family have spoken out a week after her death to urge people to stick to lockdown rules.

Describing the days before Karen was admitted to hospital, Rachel Hobbs, Ms Hobbs' sister, said: 'For the first couple of days she was at home. She couldn't do anything basically, she was in bed, had no energy.

'I thought she was going to collapse because of her cough and her breathing.

'You see it on the TV when they're on the oxygen and everything but it's different when someone is in front of you doing it.

'It's probably the worst thing I've ever witnessed.'

In a series of haunting updates, posts shared by the former cabin crew member on Facebook give a glimpse of life in intensive care after being rushed to the University Hospital of Wales.

On December 28, one post reads: 'Well I got sent home from hospital last night only to have to ring an ambulance as I couldn't breathe again so back in hospital...it's far to say Covid has well and truly kicked my butt!'

A further post two days later adds: 'The lady in the bed opposite me has just died in front of me - from Covid. Poor, poor lady, the nurses worked so hard to get her back but she couldn't be helped.

'Let that serve as a warning to anyone who still thinks it's okay to break the rules.'

On New Year's Eve, Ms Hobbs described how she was 'struggling to reply' to people's well wishes, adding: 'I can't manage to keep sitting and texting.'

But it was not until an update on January 2 that her sister and her family realised how serious her sister's condition was.

A post shared online by Ms Hobbs said: 'Being place into an [induced] coma and warned that I might not make it, please everyone pray for me that I wake from this and come home to my kids. Terrified is not the word!'

In her memory, staff at the intensive care department have given each of Ms Hobbs' children a hand print and a lock of her hair as well as a memory box

Recounting her sister's last days, Rachel, 41, said: 'We were called in the week before she passed.

'We all went in that Tuesday and the consultant came in and explained a little bit about what was happening and how ill she was. It was multiple organ failure they called it. He basically said 'we do think she's going to die'.

'We were just stunned. We thought she would be okay.'

Together, Rachel, brother Chris and Karen's ex-partner Pete were able to visit Ms Hobbs in person one last time. For her family the days that followed still haven't sunk in.

Speaking one week later Rachel described how she had been planning to move in with Ms Hobbs and her children Dylan,14, Niamh, 11, Amelia, nine, Sam, eight and Olivia, four, in order to help the family get back on their feet when she was discharged.

In her memory, staff at the intensive care department have given each of Ms Hobbs' children a hand print and a lock of her hair as well as a memory box.

Rachel said: 'She was just in a coma. She looked quite peaceful, she wouldn't have known anything about it.

'Then the kids went in to see her, they were really upset. They had a child psychologist there, explaining it to them.

'We were just gobsmacked. We just thought she'll go in and come out in a few weeks and she'll get better.

'It hasn't sunk it. I didn't think it would be her, a fit and healthy person.' 

Rachel added: 'She didn't go out, she did her shopping online. In lockdown I used to go around and just wave to the kids from the garden or stand outside and she'd open the window and I'd stand away and talk to her through the window.

'The only other place she would have gone is to the school and back but other than that she would be in the house.

'[People breaking the rules], it makes you mad. My poor sister is now gone and she was the most careful person. Then you have people out willy nilly.'

Paying tribute to her 'funny', straight-talking sister, Rachel added:

'She was a proper mum. She would sit there and colour for hours, she'd play games.

'They're so well-behaved, the five of them, when they're over you wouldn't know they're there.

'The youngest doesn't really understand. Their mum was there all the time.

'Her friends said she had the biggest heart. She was always there for everybody else. Even though she was busy all the time she would always have time for other people.'

In the days since Karen's death a GoFundMe page has been set up by friends to support her children and their dad.

So far more than £7,000 has been raised out of a £10,000 target.

Paying tribute on the page, organiser Jemma Greenman said: 'Karen was one of a kind, and the best friend anyone could wish for. Our brilliant memories of our times together we will cherish in our hearts forever. We love you Kar'. 

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