A nurse battling coronavirus has revealed how she begged healthcare staff ‘don’t let me die’ for the sake of her children – in a diary written from her hospital bed.
Nurse of 12 years Kelly Ward, 35, started coughing during a hospital shift and now remains seriously ill at Bradford Royal Infirmary in West Yorkshire.
The mother-of-two writes in her diary, My Covid Journey, how she suddenly ‘went really weak’ and felt ‘red hot’ driving home on April 19, following an extra weekend shift, and took to bed for the rest of the day and night.
She said: ‘I was literally sweating and freezing my way through the night spiking temps etc and felt really short of breath,’ the Sun revealed.
Ms Ward, of Shipley, West Yorkshire, had a Covid-19 test and got to hospital with help from fiance Ryan Golding, 34.
Healthcare staff gave Ms Ward oxygen and moved her to the A&E’s high dependency unit for cardiac monitoring, then to a ward.
She revealed: ‘I’d lost all taste and appetite, felt so dry because of the oxygen I was on, and I didn’t know if I could even move.
‘I eventually fell asleep but not for long, was dripping with sweat and I woke up with a start and panicked, really panicked.’
Ms Ward was given a CT scan on April 21, and an intensive care consultant asked if she would take part in a clinical trial for medications that could help coronavirus patients.
She said that later that night she was seen by the medical team who wanted to put her on a CPAP machine to help her breathing – ‘and they wanted to do it NOW’.
Ms Ward started to panic, thinking how she had not yet seen her children, her family or friends, and worried what would happen if it didn’t work.
She described being fitted with the mask like having someone pressing down over her nose and mouth while her head was out an aeroplane window, adding she did not think she could take it and started panicking, telling the nurses to take it off.
Ms Ward writes: ‘I knew one of them; we worked together previously and I said to her: ”Don’t let me die”.’
Her condition seemed to improve and then ate for the first time in three days on Wednesday – but was back on the CPAP within four days, and says she has become weaker and not been able to get out of bed.
Ms Ward’s revelations come as:
- Ministers are accused of watering down ‘five tests’ for easing curbs on lockdown
- A study shows men who catch coronavirus are more than twice as likely to die from the disease as women
- Matt Hancock massively expands coronavirus testing to include everyone over 65 and key workers if they have symptoms – and all NHS and care home patients and staff even if they don’t have symptoms
- The health secretary announces the first of six drugs being tested to fight coronavirus has entered the next stage of clinical trials
Yesterday, Boris Johnson joined a minute’s silence held across the UK to honour key workers who died with the virus.
The Prime Minister, who started work again on Monday following his own battle with the virus, joined the tribute at 11:00 BST.
Ms Ward saw the consultant from intensive care on Sunday and had ‘frank’ discussions that she said a 35-year-old should not have to have.
She told him to not let her die, and he promised he would offer whatever it takes to help her.
‘We came to a conclusion – the consultant offered another version of ventilation that will hopefully give me my lungs what they need pressure wise and I’ve to prone as much as I can,’ she wrote.
‘Obviously I will do whatever I can to beat this because my babies need me, so I of course agreed to go on it and have now been on it for around 4 hours now and am being closely monitored.
‘It’s going to be a very long road but I’m going to win this battle.
‘Please, stay safe, and stay home.’
In her latest update, on April 28, Ms Ward said the consultant thinks she has ‘turned a bit of a corner’, and he was ‘confident’ she is ‘over the worst’.
‘This time last week I was preparing my goodbyes to my family, my children and my friends. At 35 years old,’ she writes.
‘It’s really hit home. So hard.
‘I’m sat here on a ventilator and whilst things are turning the right way I’m still a long way from being off HDU and the assistance I need.
‘The staff here at Bradford Royal from the consultants, to nurses, to HCAS, to the Physiotherapists have genuinely saved my life.
‘I am a front line worker yes but I’m a Mum and a partner and I have to keep my fight up with this. Not just physically but mentally too.
‘I don’t want sympathy, I want to raise SO much awareness that this hideous illness can really strike ANYONE at anytime so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay home.’