Dorothy Newman COVID-19

Image via: Premier Alan Winde / Facebook

Dorothy Newman, 93, from the Western Cape beats COVID-19

Katherine Dorothy Newman, affectionately known as ‘Dorothy’ is one of the oldest survivors of COVID-19 in the province.

Dorothy Newman COVID-19

Image via: Premier Alan Winde / Facebook

Katherine ‘Dorothy’ Newman is now one of the oldest survivors of COVID-19 in the Western Cape at the age of 93. Affectionately known as Dorothy, Aunty Dorothy or Ma Newman, she has given us all a bit of hope in a dark and trying time. 


According to a Facebook post by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, Newman was born on 10 October 1926 in Claremont.  

Due to the Apartheid Group Areas Act, her family was uprooted and settled in Lansdowne. Dorothy’s son, William Newman, said his mother has experienced hardships in her life. 

“As a divorced mother she has been a pillar of strength raising the family and during trying times provided us with the best love, care and education for them to build successful careers,” he said. 


Over the last nine years, Newman has been well-taken care of at Huis Nuweland in Claremont, Cape Town. COVID-19, making its debut in March, required everyone to adjust their environments accordingly.

“Huis Nuweland was very proactive in this regard, they put in place the highest levels of control to limit the impact [on] their much-loved residents and valued staff,” explained William.  

On the 2 June, Huis Nuweland staff alerted the family to Newman’s coughing and upon the doctor’s advice, a COVID-19 test was conducted — the results came back positive. 

“This was indeed very worrying news for the family, given our mom’s advanced age, but the family were comforted by the knowledge of Huis Nuweland’s preparedness for this situation,” said William.

After displaying some breathing difficulties, the doctor advised that she be hospitalised. Newman was then admitted to Groote Schuur Hospital. After receiving the necessary treatment and making an improvement, she was transferred to the CTICC Hospital of Hope. 

There she received further care and treatment resulting in her eventually being cleared of COVID-19 symptoms. The best news for the family was hearing that there were no further concerns regarding her COVID-19 condition.  On 3 July, Newman was fit enough to return to Huis Newland. 


William said their family was extremely worried and concerned, especially because they weren’t able to visit her during her hospitalisation. 

“In the context of the COVID-19 protocols, we had to accept this, knowing that it was the best for everyone. With Huis Nuweland implementing strict COVID-19 protocols we already had very limited contact with her since March. We had to remain strong and trust all the doctors, health care personnel and home carers to provide their professional service and show the love on our behalf, which I know they did,” said William.

Apart from the family having to calm their nerves and trust in medical professionals to take care of their mother, Newman also experienced great difficulty being exposed to a range of new environments during a challenging time. 

“Having to experience the unknown, surrounded only by unfamiliar doctors and health care workers with no family members close by was not easy,” he said.

William said his mother has shown her fighting tenacity, which has been her hallmark all her life.

“Given her advanced age, we are very grateful that our Mom has overcome this big challenge in her life. I would like to express the family’s sincere thanks and gratitude for the care provided by the doctors, health care personnel and home carers who have all contributed to her recovery and well-being. Our thoughts also go out to the families of those who have not been as fortunate as our mom. To those who have been struck by this virus, I want them to take inspiration from our mom and to have faith and remain hopeful,” he added.