Covid-19: Heartbreak as dad dies on wife’s funeral while their kids are in isolation

Neville and Eva Herold covid-19

An elderly couple has died four days apart from each other from Covid-19, with the husband dying on the day of the wife’s funeral.

The couple’s children were unable to attend their mother’s funeral, as they both tested positive.

Neville Herold followed his wife, Eva, wherever she went, their children say.

And he did this up until the end, after both had contracted Covid-19.

The couple, who had been married for 45 years, had succumbed four days apart. Neville died on the day Eva was buried.

His daughter, Valene, believes it was of a broken heart.

Eva, a well-known baker known as the “cake lady” in Strandfontein, Cape Town, had been admitted to the Rondebosch Medical Centre for a bladder infection two weeks ago, her son-in-law, comedian Carl Weber, told News24.

“She had walked into the hospital that day. She was fine. She waved and said she would see us soon,” he recalled.

Following a mandatory test upon admission, she was confirmed positive on 18 June. This despite her not showing any symptoms, Weber said.

Her loved ones kept in contact by phoning the hospital as Eva – known for her generosity and tendency to cook too much food in case someone unexpectedly dropped by – has never owned a cellphone.

Two days after his wife, Neville was admitted for a chest infection which left him struggling to breathe. He, too, tested positive.

The couple, both diabetics, was treated in different wards.

Eva contracted pneumonia and was put on a ventilator on 21 June.

Hours later, she died of cardiac arrest. Her funeral took place on 25 June.

Neville, described as a quiet, kind man who always followed Eva wherever she went, died that morning, also of cardiac arrest.

“My wife says he died of a broken heart,” Weber said.

The couple’s children were unable to attend Eva’s funeral, as Valene and her brother both tested positive.

Weber hasn’t tested positive for the virus. He takes care of Valene and her brother, who are isolating at his parents’ home to protect his family, and had experienced severe symptoms.

He believed he was spared being infected so that he could take care of them.

The comedian and his wife, who he had jokingly renamed “Quarantina”, had been documenting their isolation period on Facebook.

“We started the vlog as a full family,” he said. Now, only half of the household remained.

After Eva’s death on day 3, Weber has been doing the daily videos alone, encouraged by Valene behind the scenes who has urged him to continue to raise awareness of the seriousness of the pandemic and the realities of being infected with the virus.

Eva and Neville’s children will also have to watch their dad’s funeral via Facebook on Wednesday.

“It’s the worst thing,” Weber admitted.

“There’s no closure because you can’t say goodbye.”

A joint memorial will be held for the couple next year, once it’s safe to do so, Weber said.

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