Theo Usherwood's coronavirus fear: I worried I wouldn't see my son again

30 March 2020, 15:30 | Updated: 7 June 2023, 08:56

LBC's Theo Usherwood was rushed to hospital earlier this month
LBC's Theo Usherwood was rushed to hospital earlier this month. Picture: LBC

Theo Usherwood has revealed he feared he'd never get the chance to see his son again after being rushed to hospital with suspected coronavirus.

LBC's Political Editor spent a week at the Royal London Hospital with a

Writing in the Sunday Times, he said: "As I lay on the hospital trolley at the Royal London, I was filled with an immense fear. About an hour earlier, as my wife, Romella, had all but carried me from our bedroom to the waiting paramedics, I had decided not to look in on our five-year-old son, Kofi. While I lay on white paper sheeting, oxygen pumped through my nose, gasping for every breath, I was gripped by a sense that I had missed an opportunity to see my boy one last time.

"When the paramedics arrived, one of the first things that struck us both was that I was not alone. The radio of the young man driving the ambulance crackled with reports from the control room: “Woman, 35, coughing blood. Man, 28, struggling to breathe.” These were young people, like me, desperate for medical attention. It is not, as we had believed, only elderly patients who struggle to cope with the onset of the virus."

Theo revealed the time taken to protect NHS staff after every interaction with him, something that is a huge burden for them.

He added: "The restrictions placed a much more significant burden on the NHS staff. Every time one of the medical team came to see me, they had to put on the protective equipment, including the masks and plastic robing, in the anteroom outside my own room, which adjoined the corridor. They scrubbed their hands and wrists before coming in and then again on leaving not only my room, but also the adjoining space, where they took off their robes and masks and disposed of them in sealed bins. These conditions dictated every single interaction."

Theo Usherwood's powerful message from hospital: Stay at home

Last week, Theo spoke to James O'Brien from the Royal London Hospital to tell people why they need to stay at home.

Speaking on LBC, he said: "On Thursday, it was very difficult and they couldn't find a solution. The drugs weren't working and it was very serious. But the doctors kept going. They were like codebreakers.

"This wasn't medicine by ticking a box or by numbers. They were operating on a completely different level, trying stuff, trying to figure out how they could save my life.

"And they can't do that if there is chaos and pandemonium. They simply can't function like that. If there is pandemonium, they won't be able to fix that person who comes in necessarily."