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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

‘How do you prepare people for dying and dying?’ BBC report captures the heartbreak underway in hospitals


By Amanda Cassidy
25th Jan 2021
‘How do you prepare people for dying and dying?’ BBC report captures the heartbreak underway in hospitals

We know it is happening, but seeing firsthand the devastation experienced by frontline workers and patient’s families is laid bare in this chilling 6 minute BBC report.


BBC reporter Clive Myrie spent the day with medical staff at the Royal London Hospital where 12 out of 15 floors are occupied by Covid patients.

What he records from the worst-hit Coronavirus wards is not only upsetting but shows how overwhelmed medical and healthcare staff are – and the toll it is taking on them.

Hannah Leahy, who has handled hundreds of deceased Covid patients, broke down in tears as she spoke of the impact the pandemic has had on her and her team.

 

Overwhelmed

“How do you prepare for people dying and dying? This level has taken its toll” explains Hannah, before she breaks down. “Sorry. I’ve done this for years but this is how it makes me feel. ”

Inner turbulence is revealed, Myrie points out, “and yet outer strength is needed as the hospitals fill up.”

There are 400 patients in this hospital with Covid and there aren’t enough staff. We see footage of doctors and nursing staff turning patients over, helping them to breathe better – to force oxygen into scarred lungs.

The BBC reporter speaks to consultant Marie Healy.

“He is quite sick, he could die from this” she explains on the phone to a young woman whose young husband is in intensive care. The consultant is visibly upset as she hangs up from the call. “It is so hard,” she says to the camera. “It is just so hard.”

Horrendous

“I think the public want to do the right thing but I don’t think they understand the scale of the problem,” she tells the BBC.

The patient is filmed with wires and machines surrounding him. Healy tells us that he has other family members in the ICU alongside him, who are also very sick.

This once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has silently stalked us for months and as we sit at home, it is worth remembering all those who are working flat out, under horrendous circumstances, doing their best to save lives.

The BBC report is upsetting viewing but it drives the message home – stay home, stay safe and thank you to all our healthcare workers.

Image via BBC