Great-grandmother with terminal cancer celebrates 81st after beating Covid-19

A great-grandmother in Scotland with terminal cancer has celebrated her 81st birthday after recovering from coronavirus.

Mavis Torrance, from Bishopbriggs near Glasgow, who also has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said she cried when she was told she had the virus on March 31 after developing a temperature, fearing she would not make it.

She has been being cared for at the Marie Curie Hospice in Glasgow for the past month, after her daughter Angela Grubb and son-in-law Gus developed coronavirus symptoms and self-isolated at home.

Speaking about getting the test result, she said: “I burst into tears. I thought I have so much wrong with me, I’m not going to get through.

It’s so special that she was able to spend her birthday at home surrounded by her loved ones and wee dog that she adores

“But here I am.”

She is now back home with Angela, Gus, and grandson Ross and the family celebrated her birthday on April 10 with cake, presents and FaceTime calls to family, including her great-grandchildren.

A further celebration is planned once lockdown lifts.

The 81-year-old said: “The hospice were absolutely fabulous, the staff are so caring. The minute you walk through the door they do anything for you.”

Her daughter added: “Mum describes the hospice as a five-star hotel. After moving in with us last year, I found it hard to let go of her care, but the staff were all just fantastic.”

She added: “She’s loved getting back to her wee dog and we are so grateful to have her home. Marie Curie are continuing to check in with us and they got us the proper equipment that mum needs at home.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Mavis Torrance and her dog Pippin in the hospice (Marie Curie/PA)</figcaption>
Mavis Torrance and her dog Pippin in the hospice (Marie Curie/PA)

“A proper hospital bed, a rise and fall chair, a portable frame called a Sara Stedy to safely transport her between her rooms and shifting sheets for moving and handling. It’s made such a difference.”

Marie Curie Hospice manager Irene Johnstone said: “We are so happy for Mavis and her family that they’ve recovered from this devastating virus. It’s so special that she was able to spend her birthday at home surrounded by her loved ones and wee dog that she adores.

“Our hospices and nurses are on the front line caring for dying people, both with and without coronavirus. We’re pulling out all the stops to care for patients and helping relieve pressure on the NHS at this time.”