A mother from Sanikiluaq who recently gave birth to a daughter died on Saturday from health complications related to Covid-19, according to family members.
While pregnant, Silatik Qavvik flew to a Winnipeg hospital for a scheduled appointment in November.
Not too long after delivering a healthy baby girl, Qavvik was diagnosed with Covid-19.
“After surgery – they had removed the baby through surgery – she was tested for Covid,” said Johnnie Cookie, Qavvik’s father and mayor of Sanikiluaq on Sunday. “Her results were positive.”
The subsequent coronavirus symptoms and hospitalization lasted over a month.
While Qavvik, a mother to five children, persevered through Covid-19, parts of her body suffered serious damage, leading to complications and her recent passing.
“We were told by the doctor that she was Covid-free because Covid had disappeared from her,” said Cookie. “But because the Covid was a very serious illness, she had to be on a ventilator all this time and she passed away yesterday.
“We were told her liver and kidneys were (damaged),” he added. “It’s hard to describe.”
Qavvik’s relatives were hopeful she would recover after the news she was Covid-free.
“We as a family were so hurt about it, for a while we heard she was going to get better.”
Her newborn is now in Sanikiluaq and she “is fine,” according to Cookie.
As an Elder who’s susceptible to Covid’s effects and being needed in his leadership role in Sanikiluaq in November as cases of the virus arose in the community, Cookie could not be with his daughter in Winnipeg.
“Every day as mayor, I had to concentrate on what to do, towards her and also towards the hamlet operations,” Cookie said. “I would just like to thank everybody who has been there and supporting us, through messages.”
On Nov. 26, while in the hospital, Qavvik posted on Facebook:
“People are not taking this seriously. They think Covid is funny.”
“Look where I am at now. I am at NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).”
“This isn’t funny at all. I’m so scared, I am here to get better.”
“I left my baby because she couldn’t be here with me.”
Cookie urged everybody to listen to authorities when it comes to Covid-19, for the safety of Nunavummiut.
“I want everyone to be very careful and try to listen to health representatives, the rules that they make for the safety of everyone in Nunavut.”