The husband of an NHS nurse who died after contracting a coronavirus said his wife had been “neglected” by the government and that more needed to be done to protect front-line workers.
Amor Padilla Gatinao, who worked at the NHS for 18 years, died Friday after contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, last month.
Her husband Mario said he believed the 50-year-old woman had contracted the virus while working at St Charles Hospital in west London.
He said their three children were devastated by the loss and called for more protection for NHS staff.
Speaking exclusively to Sky News, he said, “Our youngest child is 14 years old and it is so hard. The pain is unbearable.
“I called the ambulance and they came home but refused to admit him to the hospital. They told him to take paracetamol. His whole body was in pain. She couldn’t eat. She was diabetic and also had heart disease.
“I don’t know why the government hasn’t done more to protect NHS workers like my wife. It has been overlooked. My children’s lives will never be the same again. “
Padilla Gatinao described his wife’s last days as “very difficult”.
“She couldn’t sleep,” he said. “I begged the paramedics to do something, but they left us. I am very upset.
“I drove her in my car at St Mary’s Hospital. She spent eight or nine days there and the last thing she told me was that she wanted to switch to a fan. “
Padilla Gatinao, clinical nurse assessor who moved to the UK in 2002, experienced the first symptoms of respiratory illness on March 22. She was intubated and put into a coma on March 30.
She is the fifth Filipino nurse and 44th NHS worker to die after contracting the disease, according to Nursing Notes, a medical website that tracks staff deaths.
A London ambulance spokesperson told Sky News, “We sent an ambulance team to the scene and treated a patient, but we did not take him to the hospital. We are not aware of any other contact from this address.
“We would like to express our sympathy to the family during this very difficult time. “
Another chemist from the Philippines, chemotherapist Donald Suelto, 51, died after treating a patient with a positive COVID-19 test.
Her niece, Scotland nurse Emelyne Suelto Robertson, said her uncle dedicated his life to health care in the UK after moving to the UK 18 years ago.
“He died alone in his apartment and I am so sad that we were not there for him,” she said. “His friends never heard from him, so they asked the police to go see him. “
According to Ms. Robertson, her uncle’s body was later discovered by police after searching her apartment.
She echoed Mr. Padilla Gatinao’s thoughts, saying that a failure to protect front-line workers could have had an impact on his uncle’s ability to respond to the crisis.
“There are a lot of Filipinos working in the NHS who are single and have no families,” she said. “Many of these people die alone without anyone. We must do more to help these people who gave their lives in this war.
“My uncle was lucky to have me as a close relative, but there are so many others who die without anyone supporting them. This must change. The government must protect other Filipino nurses from death. “
Suelto, who worked in a cancer department at Hammersmith Hospital in West London, developed a sore throat, fever and cough a few days after his isolation.
“The patient he came into contact with at the hospital had tested positive for the virus and his manager told him to isolate himself,” said Robertson.
Mr. Suelto, who was asthmatic, videotaped his niece a few days before his death. He told his family that he wanted to fight the virus.
“The last conversation he had with his mother, who is in the Philippines, was a week ago,” she said. “He told us he felt like he didn’t survive. He said to his mother, “It is not a virus. It’s like a weapon that attacks my body. She stabs all parts of my body. “
“He said he couldn’t fight him anymore. Some of his colleagues with whom he worked tested positive for the virus and stayed in touch with him until the end. “
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