‘Glimmer of hope’: Welsh woman tells of husband’s coronavirus ordeal

The wife of man desperately ill on a ventilator for 11 days with coronavirus has spoken of his drastic decline during an emotional interview, in which she said she and their two children are clinging to a glimmer of hope that he might turn a corner.

Sue Martin, 49, from Cardiff, told Radio 4’s Today programme her husband Mal, 58, became progressively worse before an ambulance took him to hospital on 29 March.

As he rapidly deteriorated, and with doctors saying there was “almost zero chance he was going to survive”, she and their children Hana, 16, and William, 13, were allowed to see him for 10 minutes to say their goodbyes.

In the interview recorded on Wednesday she said: “Although every day we prepare for the worst, there’s a little glimmer of just maybe, just maybe, he might turn a corner.”

Mal, who is the chairman of a recruitment firm, is diabetic but was fit and well before becoming ill. Sue, a civil servant, called an ambulance 10 days after he first became ill and after his breathing became very rapid.

She was told he would have to go straight to intensive care and be put on a ventilator and that he was “very, very sick, and they weren’t sure he was going to come through it”.

She said: “He walked out of the house and I really thought a couple of days on oxygen and he would be back home with us.”

Immediately after he was admitted, she and the children managed to FaceTime him before he was placed on a ventilator. “We just told him how much we loved him,” she said. Her husband promised their daughter he would be at her wedding and would see his son play rugby for Wales. He then texted that he was “going to fight it, and it was not his time, and that he was coming home,” she said. Then the text messages stopped and she knew he had been taken to ICU.

“That day really was when everything changed for us. We have just existed since,” she said.

Though she was told his chances were 50-50 at first, he then “took a dive”, with his kidneys failing. “They said there was almost zero chance he was going to survive,” she said. He was “on the brink, and they couldn’t do anything more for him” and his body would be failing.

After begging to see him, she described the hospital as wonderful, with one nurse waiting behind after shift to be with them. She and the children were allowed 10 minutes and had to wear full PPE. “Essentially, we were going in to say our goodbyes.”

“It was like he was just asleep, although he had so many tubes and wires in him. We just told him that we loved him. And it was heartbreaking to hear the children tell him they were going to make him proud.”

“We were really glad to have that time with him.”

She said: “We fully expected Monday to be his last day”, but then his blood pressure raised slightly. “They have obviously made it very clear that he is still extremely, desperately ill, and there was still almost zero chance of him pulling through.

“But that was Monday, and we are on Wednesday, and he has been the same for the last two days. No improvement. But no further deterioration,” she said.

Source of this (above) article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/09/glimmer-of-hope-welsh-woman-tells-of-husbands-coronavirus-ordeal

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