'Grateful wave' as dying Covid patient goes home to be with family

Senior sister Sinead Skelton described the moment King George hospital were able to send a home a dying Covid-19 patient to be with her family.

Senior sister Sinead Skelton described the moment King George hospital were able to send a home a dying Covid-19 patient to be with her family. - Credit: BHRUT

Everyone at King George Hospital pulled out all the stops this week to ensure a Covid-19 patient was able to go home and be with her family as her condition deteriorated.

Senior sister Sinead Skelton has shared the poignant moment when the patient, a mother in her 60s, left King George Hospital in Goodmayes on Wednesday, January 27.

She said: “It was a bittersweet moment. She knew she was going home and as she left she waved and blew a kiss to say goodbye.

"It had our nurses crying. Her daughter was with her and was so grateful. We don’t often get to see this as Covid-19 patients can deteriorate very fast and in many cases, the family is unable to make it quickly enough at the end.

“This was a real example of teamwork, everyone pulled together, going above and beyond because they knew they were doing it for a dying patient.”


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Sinead has particularly praised the palliative care team, for "being brilliant", as well as the pharmacy team and those behind getting the ambulance to take this patient home.

It was also thanks to the patient's family, who spoke no English but made a quick decision to ensure it was possible to get her home.

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Sinead added: “We’d called the family in on Tuesday night as her condition had deteriorated.

"Doctors discussed with them that there was nothing more we could do for her and her daughter said straight away that she’d like to get her home.

“There are lots of things we need to put in place to get an end of life patient home and ensure they are comfortable. We started the process on Wednesday morning, so it was fantastic that we got her home on the same day. Everyone involved put this patient and her family first.”

"This demonstrates how important it is to have conversations with loved ones about their final wishes in advance of them needing end of life care.

"Despite these being difficult to have, they can help ensure those you care about can make choices about their death."

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