Singapore’s youngest Covid-19 fatality was on belated honeymoon
She died after contracting virus while on holiday with her husband in Turkey
It was meant to be a celebration of their wedding anniversary and also the couple's long overdue honeymoon after 38 years of marriage.
Tragedy struck, though, as both Mr Ali Buang and Ms Salha Mesbee contracted the coronavirus when they visited Turkey for nine days in mid-March.
Both were hospitalised when they returned to Singapore, along with their two sons, but only 62-year-old Mr Ali and the two children survived.
Wife and mother, Ms Salha, 58, died on April 30.
She is the youngest to die due to Covid-19.
The couple's oldest child, Ms Siti Noraisah Ali, 37, said her mother had always been protective of the three children when they were growing up and had always postponed going on holiday with her father.
The housewife and mother of four said: "Turkey is my dad's favourite destination. But he tried to talk my mum out of going because of the virus situation. But it was for their wedding anniversary and she had been looking forward to the trip so it just couldn't be postponed."
Ms Noraisah said her father had a cold on the last day of the trip.
She said: "He felt feverish but because he has asthma and the weather in Turkey was pretty cold, he thought it was normal and didn't think much about it.
"When he got back, his fever spiked and three days later, my mother, too, developed a fever. And one day after that, my youngest brother, who lives with them, got a fever too."
She added: "My second brother who picked them up from the airport didn't have any symptoms, but his throat felt itchy. He later tested positive."
Ms Noraisah said her parents were treated at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital while her brothers were treated at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
The three men recovered and were discharged but Ms Salha remained in intensive care.
She tested negative for the virus on April 21, but her condition continued to deteriorate.
Doctors told the family the virus had led to a swelling of her brain and her chances of pulling through were slim. Ms Salha, who had no pre-existing medical conditions before she contracted Covid-19, eventually died.
Said Ms Noraisah: "I held on to a glimmer of hope for her to pull through, but alas, God loves her more."
She said her family will try to go about their daily lives as their mother would have done.
This includes donating food hampers to at least five less fortunate families during Ramadan and making annual donations to charity bodies such as Jamiyah, also known as Muslim Missionary Society Singapore.
Said Ms Noraisah: "This was one of the reasons why my mother was loved by everyone. When she passed, the news spread like wildfire.
"From her neighbours to her mosque friends and extended relatives, everyone wanted to come and pay their last respects."
This Mother's Day, which falls on Sunday, Ms Noraisah's four children, aged three to nine, will be doing something different.
Usually, they would write a card for their grandmother, but Ms Noraisah said: "Instead of writing a card, I will tell them to write a letter and offer their prayers."