Patient (49) who was ‘drowning’ from Covid-19 praises staff from hospital bed

ireland
Emma O'Sullivan in hospital and before she contracted Covid-19. Photo: Courtesy of Cork’s Red FM.
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By Olivia Kelleher

A patient from the Covid-19 ward of Cork University Hospital (CUH) has urged the public to increase their vigilance, after she found it so difficult to breathe that she thought she was going to suffocate.

Emma O'Sullivan (49) joined the Neil Prendeville show on Cork's Red FM from her bed in the hospital, where she thanked its doctors and nurses for their support and care.

Ms O’Sullivan said the word “frontline” does not begin to cover the efforts made by staff to stabilise Covid-19 patients who present at the hospital.

She has spent a week at the hospital after she was transferred onsite from her home in Bandon.

“With my breathing I thought I was going to suffocate. They gave me oxygen and it was like giving me life,” she said.

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I am only 49 and there is a 90 year old across from me and with their breathing I don't know if they are going to survive

“I am only 49 and there is a 90 year old across from me and with their breathing I don't know if they are going to survive or not,” she added.

“There was a woman next to me last night who is heading for ICU now. People have no idea how bad it is.”

Unbelievable

Ms O’Sullivan said the hospital’s staff are making every effort to save lives.

“I have never met nicer people. The smile and the cheer and the nourished food. The ICU doctor comes down and he encourages me every day,” she said.

“I have been put on oxygen and it has been reduced with the hope that I will be home in west Cork soon. It is unbelievable what they have done for me.

“My sense of taste went. I couldn't eat and I was forcing a cracker and water down. The ambulance driver came and he said 'you are drowning.' I had Covid pneumonia,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

The childcare worker, who owns her own business, said that she would not hear any criticism of CUH.

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You can tell or reassure any person out there who has a grandmother in here that they are keeping them alive if they can

“The staff are coming out of everywhere. There were two nurses here the other night and they have spent 20 years in theatre,” she said.

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“You can tell or reassure any person out there who has a grandmother in here that they are keeping them alive if they can.  The old people — they bathe them, they wrap them in their arms. My heart is jumping out of my chest (from all they have done).”

Ms O’Sullivan said she was missing her husband and children. She had to fight for her life after contracting Covid-19, she said, and appealed to the public to stay safe.

“I didn't know the day or the hour. I was in a room isolated. The staff have supported, helped me and nourished me and they have done it for everyone in the hospital. There are people of all ages here,” she said.

“I am on the B side of the hospital and the A side in ICU is worse. What is in the other side of the hospital? This is a call of gratitude.”

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