Gran, 86, given hours to live beats Covid-19

An 86-year-old great-great-grandmother from Kelso given just hours to live three weeks ago after testing positive for coronavirus has been sent home from the hospital after defying the odds.

Marjorie Young was given a guard of honour by the staff at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose who saved her life this week as she returned home to husband Jim, 83.

The couple, who have between them 13 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren, live in Abbotseat.

They had both been self-isolating in their home for a week as Marjorie had been coughing.

Marjorie Young is discharged from hospital on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, April 14, her granddaughter Christine Graham, a paramedic, paid her a visit after a shift to check up on her and was concerned to find out that her sats, a test which measures oxygen saturation, were quite low.

Typically stoic, Marjorie didn’t want to make a fuss as she had not been outside since a week before the lockdown and had put it down to a chest infection, but eventually she was talked into going to hospital.

However, once staff had checked her over, the outlook was not good.

Her son James told us: “We were contacted by the hospital on the Thursday night to say we had to say our goodbyes as she was not expected to last the night.

Marjorie Young gets a hug from here granddaughter Christine as she prepares to leave hospital.

“My sister called her on the phone. I was allowed to go to the hospital but I was only able to see her through the window.

“My dad was beside himself. They’ve been together for over 60 years and did everything together. They were like love’s young dream.

“The thought that we were about to lose mum hit us all like a sledgehammer. We thought we were never going to see her again, but she made it through the night.”

Marjorie’s health was still causing great concern, though.

James said: “The doctors told me they couldn’t believe she was still with us.

“She had been for a scan and her lungs were full of pneumonia.

“They had her on the maximum oxygen, just to make her comfortable, as well as an antibiotic drip.

“She kept on for another week and they began to wean her off the oxygen, and by last Wednesday, she had shown a vast improvement.

“She had pulled through it against all odds.”

James believes she just wanted to keep going to get back to Jim, who also had the virus but fought it off at home.

He said: “She was obviously born to fight. She survived getting shrapnel removed from her leg during the war, and I think she was even shot at by a Nazi aircraft when she was a child in London, and she had tuberculosis when she was young.”

However, there could be another element that helped Marjorie get through it all.

James said: “My son Travis, who is four, is fair chuffed. He had sent his bunny rabbit teddy called Snowdrop to keep mum company, and I told him that Snowdrop has made Nana better. He’s so happy.

“The staff at the hospital have been great, and if it wasn’t for them, and my niece for getting her there in the first place, she wouldn’t be with us now.”

Christine took Marjorie home to her delighted husband Jim on Tuesday afternoon.

She is one of 53 patients discharged from the region’s hospitals after being treated for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Visit our website to see the heartwarming video of Marjorie being discharged.