After his wife died from the Covid virus in September, Dennis Lalchan was determined to fight to stay alive for his four children.
But his body failed and Lalchan was moved to the intensive care unit at the Couva Hospital and Multi Training Facility, where he died last week Thursday, two weeks after his wife, Reshma.
They were both 43 years old.
The Lalchans have left behind three daughters and a son—ages 17, 16, 14 and eight. And they would never know that their first born received his Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) results last Friday, obtaining full passes.
The couple, who lived at Gandhi Village, Debe, were not yet vaccinated and had no comorbidities, relatives said.
And relatives are uncertain how the Lalchans may have contracted the virus. In a telephone interview with a relative yesterday, the Express was told the couple began feeling unwell a month ago and visited a private medical practitioner. “They were both showing symptoms of the virus and went to a private doctor. This doctor advised that they go to the public hospital for treatment. The ambulance was contacted and by the time they got back to their home in Debe the ambulance was there waiting for them,” she said.
The Lalchans were vendors at the Debe market.
The relative said the couple were taken to the Augustus Long Hospital in Pointe-a-Pierre. Days later, Dennis was transferred to the UWI Debe Campus step-down facility, but had to be taken back to Augustus Long when his condition worsened.
By this time, she said, Reshma was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“But then Dennis required a ventilator and he had to go to Couva as he needed to be admitted to the ICU and there were no beds in Augustus Long. So he was in the ICU at Couva and his wife was in the ICU at Augustus Long,” she said.
Reshma lost her battle with the Covid virus on September 30.
Relatives said a decision was taken to inform Dennis of his wife’s passing. “That gave him the strength to fight for his children. He could not leave them alone. He spoke with us on October 1 in a video call and promised to come home to care for his children. That afternoon he said he was going to take all the treatment and fight for his life. But soon after he went in a coma and never regained consciousness,” the relative said.
Dennis was pronounced dead last week Thursday—a week after his wife was laid to rest.
He was described as a hard-working and dedicated husband and father. Dennis and Reshma were childhood sweethearts, a relative said. “They lived next door to each other and were always very close as children. The parents would joke and say they will get married when they grow up. So as they grew older they fell in love and got married and had children together. They even became market vendors together and were very happy. And in the end, they got sick together and died together,” a relative said.
Relatives are now coming together to care for the four orphaned children.
Dennis Lalchan will be laid to rest later this week.