Coronavirus: Newport man 'won't be given ventilator'

By Nelli Bird
BBC News

  • Published
Adrian MonaghanImage source, Family photo
Image caption,
Adrian Monaghan's family have not been able to see him since he was admitted to hospital

The family of a man seriously ill in hospital with coronavirus say they are upset after being told he won't get a ventilator if his condition worsens.

Adrian Monaghan, 62, from Newport, has diabetes and had a kidney transplant last year. He is currently being treated at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

His family said it was "heart-breaking" for them.

Aneurin Bevan Health Board said it would make "the right clinical decision" for each patient.

On Friday there was a total of 869 confirmed cases in the Gwent area - more than anywhere else in Wales - but the health board said the decision was not because of a lack of Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) beds.

Mr Monaghan started feeling ill two weeks ago and for more than a week he has been treated at the intensive care unit at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

Describing how he deteriorated, his daughter and carer Brooklyn Kirby-Monaghan, 16, said the family did not know what to do.

Image source, Family photo
Image caption,
Mr Monaghan's family believe more support should be given to people whose loved ones are in hospital

"One minute he'd be asleep and he'd be coughing," she said.

"He was telling me he was boiling hot and then he was freezing cold."

Because of his symptoms, they could not get anyone around to help until he became so ill he was taken to hospital.

The family say doctors have told them that because of his health condition they will not be able to help him if his condition goes downhill.

"They've told us they won't give him a ventilator if he was to get any worse due to his health conditions, which has been heart-breaking for us," said his stepdaughter Lucy Roberts. 

"I'm quite upset that that's not a possibility, because why shouldn't it be? Every human should be given that opportunity to carry on living regardless of what situation you're in.

"They also said they wouldn't resuscitate him if it did come to him passing away, so we've all been a bit worried and scared as to what's going to happen going forwards now."

The family also say they've been struggling to get information from the hospital about his condition.

Image source, Family photo
Image caption,
Mr Monaghan has been in hospital for more than a week

"It's been really horrible and frustrating because I can't find a lot out about him," said his partner Caroline Roberts.

"I can't see him and can't speak to him. I haven't been sleeping. I haven't been well myself. I've had symptoms of it."

She described the family being apart for "one of the most difficult times of our lives" and called for more support for families of loved ones who are ill with the virus.

A spokesman for the health board said it could not comment on individual cases but added: "We continue to provide the very best care, based on the right clinical decision for each individual patient.

Image source, Robin Drayton/ Geograph
Image caption,
The Gwent health board area has seen a disproportionately high number of cases compared with the rest of Wales

"This is not being influenced by the availability of ITU beds, as we have these available.

"Making the right decision for individual patients happens every day in our hospitals and has not changed because of the coronavirus outbreak."

The spokesman added the health board understood it was very difficult for families not being able to see loved ones.

"This decision to stop all visiting was not taken lightly, but is absolutely necessary to stop the spread of the virus in Gwent," he said.

"Our staff are doing everything they can to update families but this is balanced with providing the essential care our patients require during this unprecedented time.

"We are increasing the capacity on our wards to provide contact with relatives."