Covid inquiry: Bereaved granddaughter has this powerful message for PM

12 May 2021, 16:43 | Updated: 12 May 2021, 16:52

By Fiona Jones

Bereaved granddaughter Courtney Rumball, 20, tells LBC she will "absolutely" attend the inquiry into the Government's handling of the pandemic - and shared this powerful message for the PM.

Courtney from Pinner, London, is part of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group and lost her grandmother Violet Partington, 78, to the virus in April 2020.

"It's like a nightmare I can't wake up from, I've lost my best friend," she told Shelagh.

She shared her grievance after Boris Johnson confirmed there will be an independent public inquiry into the government's handling of the Covid-19 crisis, launching in 2022.

The Prime Minister told MPs in the Commons that there would be a full, public statutory inquiry with the power to make individuals give evidence under oath.

Courtney told Shelagh, "I want answers, I want to know why my nan was just almost left to die, why she wasn't treated, why she wasn't offered a ventilator...why the care that was meant to be provided to my nan, why was it not there? Why was there so much neglect?"

Violet Partington's battle with Covid was short and sudden - on the Wednesday, 111 told her to self-isolate and then her breathing became so bad that same day, her daughters rang an ambulance and she was taken to hospital.

"Within 22 minutes of being in A&E she was not considered a suitable candidate for ICU which means she wasn't going to get a ventilator, and roughly two hours later a DNR was placed on my nan without any family being told," Courtney said, "the next morning on 9 April my nan died."

Courtney told Shelagh her grandmother suffered from rheumatoid arthritis but having recently had a hip operation her blood and general health was good - despite all this her age meant she was not considered eligible for a ventilator.

Ms Partington was fit, healthy and mobile, her granddaughter said, and despite living with family "she was so independent."

Shelagh observed that if there was no notable coronary issues, Courtney "does have questions" for the Prime Minister.

Courtney said, "When someone dies from Covid the isolation is so immense because you can't just run to family and hug them, and come together and mourn. We were in lockdown, we couldn't see each other...we weren't able to celebrate her life at all."

Courtney told LBC she'd have this message at the inquiry: "How would you feel if you were in my shoes?"

She said she would "absolutely" like to attend it, and would ask why a DNR was placed on her grandmother and she was not offered ventilation, despite her good health and recent successful operation.

"I have zero faith," Courtney said, condemning the PM for beginning the inquiry in Spring 2022 as "it's almost like 'you can wait'."