Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Queen chats with COVID-19 patients, nurses at UK hospital

by Danica Kirka

LONDON ( Associated Press) – Queen Elizabeth II, following her recent bout with COVID-19, sympathized with patients, doctors and nurses at a London hospital last week as she spoke about life on the front lines of the pandemic. heard stories.

The monarch spoke to patients and staff at the Royal London Hospital, a 155-bed critical care facility built in just five weeks at the height of the pandemic, during a virtual visit marking the official dedication of the Queen Elizabeth Unit. Elizabeth tested positive for COVID-19 in February and has what Buckingham Palace described as “mild cold-like symptoms”.

“It leaves one very tired and exhausted, doesn’t it?” He asked for the recovery of COVID-19 patient Asif Hussain and his wife, Shamina. “This terrible epidemic.”

The unit has treated nearly 800 coronavirus patients across northeast London, with staff recruited from across the region, including retired doctors and nurses, and even soldiers drawn in to help.

Senior nurse Miria López Ray Ferrer told Elizabeth that after friends and family members were barred from the hospital by strict virus-control measures, nurses did their best to comfort critically ill patients.

“As nurses, we made sure they weren’t alone,” López Ray said. “We held their hands, we wiped their tears and we rested. At times it felt like we were running a marathon with no finish line. ,

Hussain was the third member of his family hospitalized with COVID-19 in late December 2020. His brother died first, then his father passed away while Hussain was on ventilator.

“I remember waking up one morning and just finding it really, really hard to breathe,” he said. “I remember waking up my wife saying I feel like there’s no oxygen in the room. I remember putting my head out the window, just trying to breathe, that extra Trying to get oxygen.

He was on a ventilator for seven weeks and was recently able to stop using a wheelchair.

The nurses helped boost Hussain’s enthusiasm by arranging video calls on tablet computers. Shamina Hussain told the Queen that 500 friends and family from around the world called in a conference call to pray for her husband.

“So you have a big family, or a big influence on people,” quipped the Queen.

The couple smiled.


Follow all Associated Press stories on the pandemic at

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