Pregnant Aussie mum 'distressed' after testing positive for coronavirus

Sarah Carty
Features & Style Editor

A pregnant Sydney mum has spoken of her distress after being diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Sally Hawach, who is the daughter of 78-year-old radio broadcaster John Singleton, attended the wedding of Verizon Media producer Emma Metcalf and CEO of charity Beard Season, Scott Maggs, on March 6th at Tumbling Waters Retreat in Stanwell Tops, NSW. 31 people from the wedding have now tested positive for coronavirus. 

Sally, who is 30 weeks pregnant with her third child, told Yahoo Lifestyle Australia she’s worried about the impact the virus will have on her unborn baby, as doctors grapple with the unknown and she’s heartbroken at having to watch her one-year-old daughter battle with a high fever. 

Sally Hawach, who is 30 weeks pregnant with her third child, tested positive for coronavirus after attending a friend's wedding. Photo: Sally Hawach

The 35-year-old, who is already mum to two-year-old Lewis and one-year-old Mirabel, just had a niggle in her throat for a few days after the wedding, however her husband, Pierre, had a cold that week. 

One week after the wedding Sally took a turn for the worse, experiencing a tight chest, fever, rapid heart rate, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches and pains. That’s when she and her husband decided to go get tested. 

Sally contacted her maternity hospital who pointed her in the direction of the local hospital testing COVID-19 patients. 

“I couldn’t get through to them so I tried to call the hotline and I couldn’t get through to the hotline. By this stage, my heart was racing, I just couldn’t get it down,” Sally said. 

That’s when she called Triple Zero. “I said: ‘I don’t know if this is an emergency, I can’t get through to anyone else and I can’t breathe. They sent out an ambulance at that point and they checked us out and said we both needed to get tested.”

Sally and her husband, Pierre, attended a friend's wedding in NSW on March 6th. Photo: Sally Hawach

The couple tested positive and have been in self-quarantine since then, with their two children and Sally said she is anxious about how her diagnosis could affect her unborn child. 

“I feel fine, I’m worried about the baby because really no one knows,” she said.

“They say the baby should be fine, the placenta protects the baby from everything but then I had a doctor be very matter-of-fact with me the other day and he said: ‘do you know what, we don’t really know how this will affect the baby’, which is exactly what a mum doesn’t want to hear.”

Sally hasn’t been able to get to a maternity ward to check up on her baby as she’s in quarantine and she doesn't want to put anybody else at risk. 

“I’m just going to leave it until next week when I’m clear so that looms over my mind of course,” she said. 

Sally’s one-year-old daughter, Mirabel, has a fever ‘through the roof’ and it’s been ‘quite stressful’ seeing her in pain. 

She said when they do their coronavirus clearance tests they will get her tested to see if she also has it. Her son, Lewis, is ‘tough as an ox’ and has shown no symptoms. 

Sally is the daughter of radio broadcaster, John Singleton. Photo: Sally Hawach

“They’re my stresses but I can only imagine how much more stressful it would be for someone who’s in that vulnerable category like the elderly,” Sally said. 

“So I just hope to god anyone we’ve been in touch with in that category is completely fine.”

Sally’s in-laws are in isolation because of them but they’re non-symptomatic at the moment. But she’s ‘very distressed’ at the the thought of having possibly infected anyone. 

Right now, Sally feels good and while she still has a sore throat and cough it’s the fatigue that’s really getting to her. 

“It’s the most extreme tiredness, compounded with being pregnant,” she said. 

While she admits that it’s been hard for the family to be in quarantine, as her husband has to continue his work as a lawyer and she’s extremely tired, Sally said they’re lucky they have a lot of space at home so entertaining the kids has been easy. 

“We’ve been lucky we’ve had friends dropping off coffee and the paper and toys and teddies for the kids. We even have one friend who delivered Gourmet Dinner Service and it’s food for the whole week all pre-made which is great because we have a lot of groceries here, being a mum you always have to be well stocked, but now we don’t even need to cook which is great,” she said. 

Sally urged people to take heed of government advice and ‘social distancing’ rules, saying people won't realise how serious it is until someone they know has it, that’s when it will hit home. 

“When some people are like: ‘look if I get it I get it it doesn’t matter’, they could be carrying it and giving it to someone who dies,” she said. 

Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at lifestyle.tips@verizonmedia.com.