A HEARTBROKEN woman has shared how her dad tragically died from coronavirus in hospital before she’d even got to say goodbye.
Joanna Jacob shared a moving Facebook post to warn others how she “selfishly” didn’t think the deadly virus would affect her and at first was more concerned with her social life.
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The emotional plea to take self-isolating seriously has touched thousands online, and racked up over 36,000 shares.
Joanna wrote: “I rarely post on Facebook. I'm not asking for your sympathy or seeking attention. I'm posting this to open your eyes to the harsh reality of the situation.
“This is my Dad, Jon. He wasn't particularly old nor did he have any respiratory issues.
“Last week, he had a cough and a temperature, both symptoms of COVID 19. He followed advice and stayed at home.
“I dropped some food off to his doorstep but he wouldn't let me in. We remained a couple of metres apart and Dad was up and dressed, walking around and talking. But that was the last time I saw him.”
Joanna shared that at first she hadn’t fully grasped the severity of the coronavirus outbreak.
She wrote: “Two weeks ago, I had the same attitude as many: 'This won't affect me.'
“I was carrying on as normal and not believing all I saw in the media.
“Selfishly, I was more concerned about my own social life than the lives of the vulnerable, not considering that half of my immediate family currently fall into that high risk category.
“What I'm seeing today is still people with the same attitude.”
On Monday, Boris Johnson announced that Brits were to stay in their houses except for a few limited reasons – such as picking up medication or food – and to work from home.
Joanna explained in her post that by Thursday, her dad was unconscious on an ICU bed being ventilated on high amounts of oxygen.
Selfishly, I was more concerned about my own social life than the lives of the vulnerable, not considering that half of my immediate family currently fall into that high risk category.
She added: “We couldn't visit him or speak to a nurse or doctor face to face. We relied on daily phone conversations by one family member only.
“Last night, we were informed that he had deteriorated and there was nothing more that could be done.
“We didn't get to say goodbye or hold his hand as he slipped away peacefully.”
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Currently 578 people have died in the UK from coronavirus, with thousands more testing positive for the virus, including Boris Johnson and Prince Charles.
Joanna added: “Dad was one of the lucky ones, if we can call it that. He had a bed and a ventilator and was given the utmost care by the team in the ICU.
“By this time next week or in two weeks time, not everyone will be so lucky.”
Currently the government is putting measures in place to up the amount of beds and ventilators available.
This includes transforming the Excel centre in London into the NHS Nightingale Field Hospital, with 4,000 extra beds, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also put out a call for 250,000 NHS volunteers to deliver food and medicines.
Joanna urged people to follow the government advice of only leaving the house to pick up essentials, go to work if they can't work at home, attend a medical appointment, or care for a vulnerable person.
She pleaded: “What I'm seeing today is still people with the same attitude.
"I've seen people complaining that they can't send their children to school.
“I've seen people going round to people's houses, carrying on as normal.
“If you carry on ignoring advice and one of your loved ones becomes ill, you won't get to visit them.
“You won't get to tell them how much you love them and it'll be a nurses hand they're holding instead of yours.
“You won't even get to spend time grieving with family and loved ones. It'll be at least 12 weeks until I can do that.
Dad was one of the lucky ones, if we can call it that. He had a bed and a ventilator and was given the utmost care by the team in the ICU.
“Stay at home, play in your gardens, go on walks but please avoid anything unnecessary.
“Enjoy this time with your families while you still have them and I hope that none of your family members end up in the same situation.
“I have made this post public so that it can be shared. This IS real. This is our reality and we are living it. Stay at home if you don't want it to be yours.”
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