Manchester

Coronavirus: Off-duty nurse helps man after car crash

Lucy Duncan Image copyright Lucy Duncan
Image caption Lucy Duncan works as a mental health nurse with North West Boroughs Healthcare

An off-duty nurse has described how she spent five hours in A&E with an elderly man suspected of having coronavirus after he crashed into her car.

Lucy Duncan, 24, was driving home from a 12-hour shift at Wigan hospital when her car was hit by another vehicle.

She stopped and saw the driver "slumped over" the steering wheel and struggling to breathe.

The 24-year-old called an ambulance and then went with him to hospital to comfort him.

"The man was so grateful that I stayed with him and kept squeezing my hand and pulling it close to him," Ms Duncan said.

Her boss has described her as "a superstar".

Ms Duncan had been returning from her seventh shift in a row at about 19:45 GMT on Thursday when the crash happened in Abram.

"He grabbed my arm and kept apologising, and said he thought he had coronavirus," she said.

"He was grey and sweating, and struggling to breathe - he looked really ill."

'Shining example'

The man, believed to be in his 70s, told her he had been in isolation for more than a week but had been forced to leave his home to buy food.

"So I called an ambulance and followed him in my own car, and stayed with him for five hours wearing full PPE," she said.

"I don't think I did anything out of the ordinary but a lot of people have told me they wouldn't have done it.

"I just want to go back and see him, and know that he's OK."

Simon Barber, chief executive at North West Boroughs Healthcare, said: "She is everything we could possibly want our staff to be and is a shining example of true NHS compassion in these difficult times."

Since sharing the story on social media, Miss Duncan has been praised for her actions.

Miss Duncan's family has now moved out as she waits to see if she develops any symptoms.

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