A woman has said Bath hospital staff are “Covid heroes” after being allowed to spend her father’s final moments with him.
She said: “It’s not even organised chaos up there, everyone knows what they’re doing.
“When I went up there to see my dad, eight members of staff asked if I wanted a cup of tea or if they could do anything for me.
“There were so many people in that ward and the staff talk to all of them, even though they’re unconscious.
“Everybody has somebody with them, they don’t let your loved ones pass away alone.”
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Brian died in January, just six days after going into hospital.
His partner had previously tested positive for Covid and when his oxygen levels began to dip, the 70-year-old was taken into the RUH.
“He went in on the Friday and he was chatting to his friends on the phone and the doctors kept checking his oxygen. He said ‘make sure you tell people this doesn’t feel like flu’.
“Then at 7pm on the Saturday night, he rang me and said they were talking about putting him into a coma for two weeks to help him breathe.
“He was a bit worried, but he said they had really taken the time to explain it to him, and I said ‘we’ll talk in two weeks’,” Shandell explained.
Two days later, her father’s oxygen levels had not improved and the following day his partner called to let her know she should come in.
Shandell arrived at the ward around lunchtime on Wednesday and was allowed to sit with her dad, talk to him and rub his back.
She said: “He was really peaceful. I didn’t even realise he was gone until the doctor said ‘I’m so sorry’.
“They wanted to take me into a room and check I was okay but I said I’d rather go home and let them get back to their jobs.”
Over her life, Shandell has been very grateful to the hospital staff. She spent 10 weeks there, aged 21, for a suspected heart problem and just before Christmas, they patched up her son, who “almost lost his hand” in a freak accident.
After seeing her father pass away, she said she worried for doctors’ and nurses’ mental health.
“They have witnessed hundreds of people dying like that every day and they have had to phone people and tell them. It has to take its toll,” she said.
Undertakers were another bunch of “unsung heroes”, she added.
“They have to say to people, ‘your dad can’t be released for a few weeks because of Covid, he can’t be buried in his favourite clothes because of Covid, and the coffin has to be sealed’. I don’t know how they do it,” she said.
Ms Williams hoped “something would be done” for frontline workers after the pandemic, to thank them for their hard work and excellent care.
More of today’s news from around Somerset and Bath