‘I heard his breathing turn into a death rattle’: Father-of-two, 43, tells how coronavirus patient in his 60s spent two hours crying out for his family before dying alone in hospital bed next to him
- Craig Farley-Jones, from Hyde, listened to dying man call for his family on ward
- The 43-year-old spent six days in hospital on maximum oxygen for Covid-19
- ‘I wouldn’t have let a dog die like that’ says father-of-two, who is now recovering
A father-of-two who heard a dying coronavirus patient crying out for his family for two hours is urging people to stay indoors.
Craig Farley-Jones spent six days in Tameside General Hospital last week as he battled Covid-19. THe 43-year-old is home now, but is haunted by the memory of a patient in his 60s who spent his final hours alone crying for his family.
‘I wouldn’t have let a dog die like that,’ said the dad from Hyde.
Craig Farley-Jones (pictured) spent six days in Tameside General Hospital last week as he battled Covid-19
Mr Farley-Jones (pictured) has told of his horrific experience being hospitalised with Covid-19
The Gee Cross, Hyde, company director shared a heartfelt social media post reminding people to take the UK’s lockdown seriously.
In it he wrote: ‘Everyone in the ward looked like death, but the man in the bed opposite me who was about 65 or 70 was relaxed and talkative to start with, despite being on maximum oxygen.
‘Later that day I could see he was struggling to breathe and starting to panic, I could see he was getting distressed so I buzzed the nurses but they couldn’t calm him down.
The company director (pictured) shared a heartfelt social media post reminding people to take the UK’s lockdown seriously
‘Something had changed – his stats went off the scale and it was past the point of return for him
‘They gave him something to calm him down and called for his kids, as this was obviously his final night.
‘His children were at least able to come in in masks and gowns and say their goodbyes, but he still hung on for another few hours after that.
‘I will never forget those next two hours for as long as I live. He was shouting out, calling for his family by name, over and over while struggling to breathe.
‘It had me in tears, it was so hard to listen to. I buzzed the nurses, but they told me there was nothing more they could do for him.
‘So I lay there listening to his breathing turning into a death rattle, he continued calling out into it stopped and was quiet – he had gone.
‘I know he wasn’t in physical pain at that point, but he was definitely in emotional distress.
‘I wouldn’t have let a dog die like that.
‘It’s not the fault of the doctors and nurses at all, they were doing everything they could, but in some cases it isn’t enough.’
Yesterday (Monday) Boris Johnson was admitted to an intensive care ward at St Thomas’ Hospital as his condition worsened. He has not been placed on a ventilator but has received some oxygen treatment.
Speaking this morning Matt Dockray, who overcame the illness last month, described his time on ICU as ‘the most horrible experience you will go through’.
There have been 51,608 coronavirus cases in the UK since it arrived in February. At least 5,373 people have died with the disease.
Mr Farley-Jones added: ‘People need to know when you go into hospital with coronavirus, all the NHS can do is remove any infection that accompanies the virus to give you the best chance to fight it yourself.
‘They can’t treat the virus itself – so if you end up in hospital you have to fight for yourself, or sink.
‘So please, stay at home and hold onto your loved ones – I’m one of the lucky ones.’
The software and marketing company director, who had been commuting daily to Sale before he was infected, and fiance Laura, who works in Salford, both noticed symptoms on the same day two weeks ago but are not sure where they caught the virus.
As soon as the UK’s lockdown came into force last month their family adhered to the Government advice but both began to a suffer a high temperature, nausea and exhaustion about three days afterwards.
The couple both developed a loss of smell and bad cough but when Craig began struggling to breathe last Tuesday, he called NHS 111 and was rushed to hospital, where it was discovered the illness had spread to his lungs, causing pneumonia.
At 2am on his third night in hospital, Craig was taken from one of the main wards to a different quarantined coronavirus unit by wheelchair after testing positive for Covid-19.
The businessman, who was treated with antibiotics for secondary infections during his hospital stay, was unable to eat for a week during his ordeal, losing a stone in weight.
The dad-of-two, who has a one-year-old daughter with Laura, Pippa, and an eight-year-old daughter, Ruby, from a previous relationship, is thankful his youngsters avoided the worst of the symptoms – only suffering high temperatures.
Mum-of-one and step mum-of-one Laura, who runs her own law firm, also struggled with the severity of her own coronavirus symptoms but did not need to be hospitalised as the disease didn’t spread to her lungs.
Craig said: ‘When I got to hospital, I thought I was safe.
‘But I still felt like I couldn’t breathe, and when I realised that was still the case when the oxygen was on maximum full pelt, that was a scary moment.
‘I texted Laura asking her why I hadn’t sorted my will, she had done hers and been asking me to do mine, but I hadn’t got round to it.
‘I just couldn’t breathe, and thought I could be that close.
‘The feeling of claustrophobia and panic that sets in is frightening – even a few days later when I was feeling better and due to be discharged, I still had a nagging doubt I might not make it.
‘When you wake up in the night out of breath, panicking and trying your best to draw in more air, you don’t understand why the nurses can’t do any more to help you.
‘I realised quite quickly you either are nursed to get better and go out the front door, or they nurse you out of the back door in as little pain as possible.’