Two girls – 9 and 11 – will move to their new home – an orphanage southeast of Bangkok – after being forced to watch their sick mother die at home.
The girls were found at home in Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district yesterday next to their 44-year-old mom’s lifeless body. The mother was identified as Apaporn Soontrarachun as word spread yesterday of their tragic story. She worked as a masseuse.
Now hospitalized with COVID-19 themselves, the girls will go to live at the Samut Prakan Shelter for Children and Families, according to the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.
It was just a few days ago that their mom complained of chest pain, difficulty breathing and dizziness, according to rescue worker Anya Phoampai. She began coughing up blood and went to a doctor, who only gave her pills to take at home. Her condition grew worse until her death on Monday.
As health workers wheeled their mother’s body away, the two girls cried and looked at each other.
Health officials believed Apaporn died from a coronavirus infection. Her body has been taken to a hospital for an autopsy.
Both girls tested positive for COVID-19 and are being treated at Bang Phli Hospital.
There was no immediate family to care for the girls, leading the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to step in.
The news of the girls watching helplessly as their mother died provoked a mix of empathy, sadness and rage. Some raised questions on social media about the government’s mishandling of the pandemic, which has led to growing numbers of people dying at home or lying in the streets due to overtaxed medical facilities.