Saturday, 9 May 2020

Nursing a Covid 19 patient

Hello Jack, It’s me

You were getting better and we thought you would win the battle.  Yesterday you smiled at me and gave me a’ thumbs up’ through the corridor window as you enjoyed your favourite cup of tea.  You have been fighting so hard but you have run out of energy today.  The decision is made and I have just talked to your daughter.

Hello Jack, It’s me.  Can you hear me through this mask?  I can hold your hand but it will feel strange because of the gloves.  I have come to sit with you for a while.  The room is quiet, outside the rest of the ward is active but in your room it is quiet.  It’s as if the machines know they are no longer needed and they are just watching and waiting.

Try to hold on a little longer Jack.  I spoke to Beryl and she so wanted to see you.  She is going to come to the window in about 10 minutes.  She isn’t really allowed but sometimes we bend the rules. It is a good thing this ward is on the ground floor.  I chatter to fill the time, you open your eyes and look at me but I can’t tell if you can really see me.

I squeeze your hand.  Look Jack, Beryl is at the window.  I go to open the window so she can speak to you.  She calls ‘Dad’ and you open your eyes and look towards her, a small smile comes to your lips and your eyes light with recognition.  I feel so privileged to be here in this moment and then you close your eyes. Beryl is upset and walks away back to her car.

I sit with you a while longer.  I can be quiet now; there is no need for chatter.  The window is still open and I can hear the birds.  Can you hear them Jack?  I will never know if you can or not.

Your breathing is shallow but you are peaceful.  You move your hand slightly in mine and I look at you.  You look back at me and sigh quietly and you are gone.  I sit a while longer, just needing to be quiet, is that for you or me, I don’t really know. 

I go and telephone Beryl to give her the news she is expecting but she is so sad.  She is glad she saw you through the window and comforted that you knew she was there.

My job is done now.  Another life taken by this awful virus, another death notification I have to write.  I am glad I was able to be with you Jack.  No one should die alone.  May God be with you now in your new and eternal life.

All names have been changed within this reflection.         



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