Gran, 63, given ‘second life’ in double lung transplant dies after catching Covid for the second time despite two jabs


A GRAN who was given a “second life” from a double lung transplant has died after catching Covid for the second time despite being double jabbed. 

Mum-of-five Marion Sartin-Frith, 63, died with coronavirus on August 16 at St Peter’s Hospital in Surrey

Marion Sartin-Frith died with coronavirus on August 16

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Marion Sartin-Frith died with coronavirus on August 16Credit: BPM
In 2010, Marion was given a life saving double lung transplant

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In 2010, Marion was given a life saving double lung transplantCredit: BPM

Her husband of 14 years, Gary, was the only person who could be there in her last moments due to Covid restrictions at the hospital. 

Gary told Surrey Live: “All through her illnesses we have been able to be by her side and give her the love she needed. But this last time we couldn’t, we were powerless. 

“Sitting there, waiting for a phone call. It’s heartbreaking.”

A granny to ten, Marion had braved a double lung transplant in 2010 after she was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

At the time, the mum had spent a mere 19 days recovering in hospital after the complex keyhole surgery procedure. 

Gary, 54, recalled: “It just shows the strength and determination she had. 

“She was on oxygen at home and without it she wouldn’t have made it to the garden gate.”

After Marion’s operation, the mum’s immune system was significantly damaged due to the immunosuppressant drugs which reduce the risk of the body rejecting a transplanted organ. 

Marion’s lowered immune system meant she was classed as clinically extremely vulnerable when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. 

But well before rumours of the pandemic reached the UK, Marion was rushed to hospital with what doctors believed was Covid-19. 

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In December 2019, Marion spent several weeks in hospital and was again readmitted in early 2020. 

Marion’s 31-year-old daughter Kayleigh told BPM Media: “They didn’t know what it was at the start. It was called ‘unknown strain of flu’. 

“It was a few months later when my mum was in the clinic that a doctor said to her that it was Covid.

“We didn’t think she was going to make it through. It was extremely scary.” 

After returning home and recovering from the virus, Gary believes Marion’s energy levels never returned to normal.

The much-loved mum was then forced to self-isolate as the first lockdown hit the UK, leaving her unable to see her children or grandchildren face to face. 

“People have got to be so careful”

By July of this year, Marion and Gary were well enough to embark on a mini-break to Blackpool after both receiving two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. 

But on their first day away, the couple were pinged by the NHS Track and Trace app as a close Covid contact and returned home. 

By July 28, both Gary and Marion had tested positive for the virus.

Gary admitted he was “terrified” for his wife, who suffered from chronic headaches and lost her sense of taste and smell. 

On July 31, Marion collapsed at home and was rushed to hospital, where her health slowly declined. 

On August 16, Gary received a phone call from the hospital. 

He recalled: “I knew when they rang me she wasn’t going to make it.” 

Due to restrictions, Gary was the only person able to say goodbye to his wife in person. 

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He said: “I went into the room, it was the first time I’d seen her in 17 days. 

“She looked so fragile. I took hold of her hand and felt the most gentle squeeze when I asked if she could hear me.”

Gary was by Marion’s side when she died, but says he hasn’t come to terms with losing her.

Losing Marion has made Gary and his family more aware than ever that Covid-19 is still here. 

He said: “They [the government] dropped the restrictions.

“And when you have people all around you not doing what they’re meant to do – the two metre rule isn’t happening in supermarkets anymore – it’s just frustrating to see.

“People have got to be so careful.”

After her mum’s funeral, Marion’s daughter Kayleigh will be jumping 10,000ft out of a plane to raise money for Harefield Hospital, where Marion received her lung transplant in 2010. 

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