On 29th March, Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby, from West Midlands Police, tweeted a haunting video from his hospital bed after being rushed into hospital with COVID-19.
Ch Supt Dolby had been self-isolating at home when his condition started to deteriorate rapidly.
It was on day number seven of self-isolation that Ch Supt Dolby needed urgent medical help as he found breathing more and more difficult.
In a tweet published on 29th March, Ch Supt Dolby said:
“Late day 7. Some frightening episodes of breathlessness and dizziness. 111 call an ambo (ambulance). Conveyed by @OfficialWMAS (West Midlands Ambulance Service) to hospital.
“Now got oxygen mask, canulas, blood test, COVID tests, chest x-ray and some snory neighbours.
“Shame as its daughters 15th birthday today”.
With the tweet was a short video filmed by Ch Supt Dolby that showed the isolation cubicle that he had been placed into.
The day before, (28th March), Ch Supt Dolby tweeted:
“Day 7 – breathing increasingly difficult & worrying. Rang 111 & the Dr was EXCELLENT. Discussed hospital but going to try some steroids first. Had some anxious moments in last 24 hrs. I’ve looked better too! Temp of 37.9 but somehow still feel really cold”.
Thousands of people left messages for support for the popular police officer, as they waited to see if any more updates would be forthcoming.
But for just over two weeks, all had gone quiet.
Ch Supt Dalby had been intubated and was placed on a mechanical ventilator as the COVID-19 virus slowly started to take over his lungs, meaning that his blood was unable to carry any oxygen around his body without the help of a ventilator.
The chances of coming off of a mechanical ventilator are only around 50/50 so many social media users feared the worse and started to ask around if anyone had heard anything concerning Ch Supt Dolby’s condition.
And then it was announced over the weekend that Ch Supt Dolby had managed to ‘win’ the fight; a fight that has now taken over 10,000 lives in this country and 117,000 lives around the world.
In a tweet shared yesterday morning (12th April), on Easter Sunday, Ch Supt Dolby said:
“Had visitors. Cannot come to ward due to COVID19. Staff let them come here via the rear window. We hadn’t been together for 14 days. A boost I really needed. Cried like a girl. As you would expect”.
The tweet has had over 8,000 likes – such is the support for the officer who has been praised by his colleagues for being a ‘top guy’.
Emergency Services News has started an online petition to have an official ‘NHS Day’ once this pandemic has passed.
The aim of the ‘NHS Day’ will be to honour the healthcare workers who have died of COVID-19 and to honour the truly remarkable work which has been done by the men and the women of the NHS who have been on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19.
Many healthcare workers have not seen their families for over three weeks now and have been putting in 16-hour shifts in intensive care units around the country.
Emergency ambulance crews, assisted by firefighters and the military, have been responding to a non-stop stream of 999 calls as the pandemic starts to approach its peak.
Once this national emergency is over, then it is only right that the nation never forgets what the NHS and their support network have done for the 85,000 people who have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
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