"I've been sent home to die" COPD sufferer's terror over 3 months isolation

31 March 2020, 18:23

By Seán Hickey

This caller shared her crippling fear over having to spend the next three months at home without being tested for Covid-19.

Cathy suffers with COPD and went to hospital after suffering symptoms she never associated with COPD before, having an inkling that she may have caught coronavirus. She shared her story of being sent home without being tested for the virus.

She was told by a healthcare worker that screening for Covid-19 "had to be done at a later stage" and she could not be tested simply because protocol for testing was changing on a daily basis.

"I've been told to call 999 if my symptoms deteriorate" Cathy said, admitting that she didn't see the problem initially with being sent home insisting that she didn't want to take up a bed of someone that may need treatment more than her.

"I've been sent home to die" a defeated Cathy concluded. She felt that she would be in danger if she did turn out to have Covid-19, even if she had the reassurance of being brought in for treatment as soon as she felt grave symptoms.

"I've been sent home to die" COPD sufferer's terror over 3 months isolation
"I've been sent home to die" COPD sufferer's terror over 3 months isolation. Picture: PA

Cathy sympathised with the NHS during this time. "They're working with very little protection" she said, backing up suggestions that there is not enough protective equipment for healthcare workers.

"I'm scared I'm gonna die at home now because I'm at home for 12 weeks to isolate" she said. As a COPD sufferer, Cathy is an at-risk patient and fears that the next three months will be very difficult for her to cope not only with her illness, but with the prospect of contracting coronavirus too.

Shelagh attempted to reassure Cathy by assuring her that the NHS are working remarkably hard to ensure that people like Cathy are guaranteed treatment should they need it. "That's advice telling you very much that you will be helped" Shelagh said, referring to the assurances that the NHS gave Cathy.

"They want those beds available for anybody who needs them, including you" Shelagh said.