A woman has shared the heartbreaking final moments of her father’s life before he died from COVID-19.
In an emotional Facebook post, Joanna Jacob cautioned people to stay at home and shared the sombre reality of losing a loved one to coronavirus.
“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,” Ms Jacob wrote alongside a photo of herself and her father at her sister’s wedding.
She said that her father followed medical advice and self-isolated, not even allowing himself to be in contact with his family.
“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,” Ms Jacob said.
Her father was then taken to ICU where he remained unconscious and on a ventilator.
Ms Jacobs, from the UK, said she was no longer allowed to visit her father, even from a distance.
“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,” she wrote.
On March 23 the family was given the sad news that Mr Jacobs’ condition had “deteriorated and there was nothing more that could be done”.
Ms Jacobs reminded people that saying goodbye to a person with coronavirus was not allowed, in order to limit the chance of becoming infected.
“We didn't get to say goodbye or hold his hand as he slipped away peacefully,” Ms Jacob wrote.
She reminded people that even a funeral for her father was not an option as large gatherings and funerals are banned in many countries.
“You won't even get to spend time grieving with family and loved ones,” she said.
An emotional Ms Jacobs described her father as “one of the lucky ones” as hospitals are quickly filling up.
“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.
“Nurses and doctors will have to choose who the survivors are going to be.
“They will have no choice but to let people die because the space and equipment is already running out”.
‘It'll be a nurses hand they're holding instead of yours’
Ms Jacobs said that before her father had become sick, she was not taking the warnings about social distancing seriously.
“I had the same attitude as many: 'This won't affect me’,” she said.
“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.”
She warned others to take the advice to stay home seriously.
“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,” she said.
“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”.
Ms Jacobs finished the post by pleading for others to share it.
“This is real. This is our reality and we are living it. Stay at home if you don't want it to be yours,” she wrote.
The post has since been shared more than 45,000 times on Facebook.
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