Cork patient who was 'drowning from Covid' says public 'don't know how bad it is' from her hospital bed

Cork patient who was 'drowning from Covid' says public 'don't know how bad it is' from her hospital bed

Emma O'Sullivan

A patient of the Covid ward in Cork University Hospital (CUH) has urged the public to increase their vigilance after she found it so difficult to breathe that she thought she was going to suffocate.

Emma O'Sullivan, aged 49, said that the word "frontline" doesn't even begin to cover the efforts made by staff to stabilise Covid patients who present at the hospital.

Having spent a week in hospital Emma has called on the public to stay at home in order to reduce virus numbers.

"With my breathing I thought I was going to suffocate. They gave me oxygen and it was like giving me life," 

Ms O'Sullivan said. "I am only 49 and there is a 90-year-old across from me and with their breathing I don't know if they are going to survive or not.

"There was a woman next to me last night who is heading for ICU now. People have no idea how bad it is."

Emma joined the Neil Prendeville show, on Cork's Red FM, from her bed in the hospital where she thanked the doctors and nurses for giving her her life back after she was transferred onsite from her home in Bandon.

Emma says that staff have made trojan efforts to save lives.

"I have never met nicer people (than since I came in here). The smile and the cheer and the nourishing food. The ICU doctor comes down and he encourages me every day."

"I have been put on oxygen and it has been reduced with the hope that I will be home in West Cork soon. It is unbelievable what they have done for me.

"My sense of taste went. I couldn't eat and I was forcing a cracker and water down. The ambulance driver came and he said 'you are drowning'. I had Covid pneumonia.

"The staff are coming out of everywhere. There were two nurses here the other night and they have spent 20 years in theatre."

The childcare worker, who owns her own business, said that she wouldn't hear any criticism of CUH.

"You can tell or reassure any person out there who has a grandmother in here that they are keeping them alive if they can.

"The old people — they bathe them, they wrap them in their arms. My heart is jumping out of my chest (from all they have done.)” Emma said she was missing her husband and children. She added that she had to fight for her life after contracting Covid whilst appealing to the public to stay safe.

"I didn't know the day or the hour. I was in a room isolated. The staff have supported, helped me and nourished me and they have done it for everyone in the hospital. There are people of all ages here.

"I am on the B side of the hospital and the A side in ICU is worse. What is in the other side of the hospital? This is a call of gratitude."

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