A FATHER of two already missing his own family and lying in a hospital ward hooked up to oxygen speaks of his anguish as he had to endure the heart-wrenching cries of a man in the next bed as he struggled to breathe and was desperately trying to call out for his family.
Craig Farley-Jones, 43, spent a week in hospital on maximum oxygen while battling Covid-19, at one point texting fiancé Laura Wilson, 41, to ask why he hadn’t written a Will as she had suggested.
Craig listened to the man lying opposite him, in his late 60’s, calling out the names of his relatives before he passed away at Tameside General Hospital last week. Now out of the hospital and recovering, he is urging the public to ‘stay at home and hold onto your loved ones’ after revealing the heartbreaking scene left him in tears.
The software and marketing company director was discharged from the hospital on Sunday. He was fit and well, with no pre-existing health conditions, when he was admitted to intensive care with coronavirus. Craig, of Hyde, Greater Manchester, wrote on social media after returning home: ‘Everyone in the ward looked like death, but the man in the bed opposite me who was about 65 or 70 was relaxed and talkative to start with, despite being on maximum oxygen.
‘Later that day I could see he was struggling to breathe and starting to panic, I could see he was getting distressed so I buzzed the nurses, but they couldn’t calm him down. ‘Something had changed – his stats went off the scale and it was past the point of return for him.
‘They gave him something to calm him down and called for his kids, as this was obviously his final night. His children were at least able to come in in masks and gowns and say their goodbyes, but he still hung on for another few hours after that.
‘I will never forget those next two hours for as long as i live. He was shouting out, calling for his family by name, over and over while struggling to breathe.
‘It had me in tears, it was so hard to listen to. I buzzed the nurses, but they told me there was nothing more they could do for him. So I lay there listening to his breathing turning into a death rattle, he continued calling out until it stopped and was quiet – he had gone.’
Craig added: ‘People need to know when you go into hospital with coronavirus, all the NHS can do is remove any infection that accompanies the virus to give you the best chance to fight it yourself. They can’t treat the virus itself – so if you end up in hospital you have to fight for yourself, or sink.’