UK (Sky News)

Coronavirus: Patient treated on same ward as PM ‘thought he wouldn’t survive’

By May 8, 2020 No Comments
Dave Hunt thought he was going to die while in intensive care

It is a week since he was in the same hospital and same intensive care unit where the prime minister is now, but the emotion and the memories are still horribly raw for Dave Hunt.

He fills up with tears several times while talking to us in his London apartment on the banks of the River Thames.

“Intensive care is not a fun place to be,” he says, “You see people die… it is absolutely horrible.

“I sell software for a living. I’m not a nurse or a doctor. You see people just getting wheeled out and wheeled in. I just wanted to get out of that place.”

Dave Hunt thought he was going to die while in intensive care
Image:Dave Hunt thought he was going to die while in intensive care

Mr Hunt spent 10 days at St Thomas’ Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, and was treated for four of them in the same intensive care unit (ICU) where Boris Johnson is now.

“Boris Johnson will be in good care,” he told us, “He’ll have a dedicated nurse checking his oxygen stats levels are up… and he’ll be sat there getting at much air into his lungs as possible.”

The 38-year-old was one of the youngest in the ICU – but within minutes of arriving at the hospital by ambulance, he was told by a team of medics he would need to be put on a ventilator because his breathing was so poor.

“I’d read the odds of survival after being put on a ventilator was only 50-50,” he said. “I just thought I’m going to be one of those who don’t survive.”

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The medics told him he was going to be put to sleep for between five to 10 days and he was given time to telephone his closest family.

“For me, that was it,” he said, “I rang my brother and told him the password to my computer where my will is.”

He came round after 48 hours and woke to the sounds of “organised chaos”.

“I thought am I alive? Am I dead? I was clearly alive but I had this fifteen inch tube down my throat and I couldn’t talk.”

He said the most haunting sound was the constant noise of alarms going off as the health of fellow patients dived.

“I heard the head nurse saying: look guys… we’ve only got nine nurses… and I’m going to say there were about 20 beds (with patients).

“It just proves the stress this service is under. It’s… I don’t want to say it because it sounds like I’m ungrateful or being critical, but its like organised chaos. They are professionals but no one’s ever seen anything like it.”

Dave Hunt was tearful as he shared his experience of being intensive care
Image:Dave Hunt was tearful as he shared his experience of being in intensive care

He was moved after four days to the high dependency ward – the next level down from intensive care – but still the trauma continued.

“They removed the tube which was an horrendous experience… but I still couldn’t talk, my throat was swollen.

“There were 10 tubes coming out of my neck… two or three for blood, saline, a tube through my nose for eating and a catheter.”

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