Pensioner, 98, battles back to survive coronavirus

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described Daphne Shah’s story as 'inspiring'.

By Jenness Mitchell & Lynne Rankin

A 98-year-old woman has beaten the odds to battle back and survive coronavirus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described Daphne Shah’s story as “inspiring”, stating: “It is also a reminder that even in dark times, there is always light and hope.”

Ms Shah, who is set to turn 99 this summer, was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee after falling ill last Thursday.

The pensioner, from St Madoes in Perth and Kinross, tested positive for Covid-19 and spent the next few days receiving treatment.

She was eventually discharged with medication on Monday and is now being cared for at home by her son, Wesley.

Ms Shah praised the treatment she received by the NHS staff.

She said: “Very good treatment – I didn’t want to leave.”

Fellow parishioners at Hillbank Evangelical Church in Dundee prayed for Ms Shah’s recovery.

The pensioner is now “feeling better”, adding: “Everyone is good to me.”

Mr Shah – who noticed his mum’s cough, high temperature and breathing difficulties around two weeks ago – initially called for a doctor.

When the antibiotics she was prescribed weren’t working, he realised the infection was viral rather than bacterial.

Mr Shah praised the level of care his mum received at Ninewells Hospital.

He told STV News: “When the ambulance came, I have to say it was one of the most dramatic experiences of my entire life.

“I never thought I’d have her back.

“I was delighted with the NHS. I mean, they are brilliant. They are heroes at the end of the day and they are our frontline warriors.

“God bless the NHS. Without them, my mum wouldn’t be back.”

During the Scottish Government’s daily press conference, the First Minister paid tribute to Ms Shah and said it was important not to “lose sight of good news” during “tough times”.

She said: “I want today to pass on my best wishes to Daphne Shah. Daphne is 98-years-old and she has been receiving treatment for Covid-19 at Ninewells hospital in Dundee.

“Note that I said ‘had been’ receiving treatment. Daphne has now recovered from the virus and she is back at home.

“Her recovery in an inspiring and very welcome good news story. But it is also a reminder that even in dark times, there is always light and hope, and I am sure all of us wish Daphne very well.”

NHS Tayside medical director, professor Peter Stonebridge, also said he was “delighted” that Ms Shah was back home and wished her well in her continued recovery.

He added: “We can all do our bit to help stop the spread of coronavirus. That is why following the messages of staying at home, washing your hands frequently and staying two metres apart are so important.”