A-Z

Experiences of Covid-19 and Intensive Care

Sources of support in Intensive Care

Sources of support while in intensive care took various forms. This page covers:

  • Communication with family members
  • Contact with other patients
  • Support from friends and strangers
  • Support from faith and religion

Communication with family members at home

Contact with those at home was a great source of support for people in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) with Covid, although physically, communication was difficult. ICU patients are receiving life-saving treatments, connected to monitors and machines, may be wearing masks or intubated (a breathing tube down the patient's throat) and are often sedated for periods. A critically ill patient who is ventilated with a tracheostomy (an opening surgically created through the neck into the trachea (windpipe)) is unable to talk and may be offered paper or a white board to write on, or an app designed for this purpose.

 

After waking up from ventilation, Johnny could initially not speak. He communicated through writing.

After waking up from ventilation, Johnny could initially not speak. He communicated through writing.

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So, when they brought me to the hospital, I think they put me to sleep and that’s all I can remember. And then when I woke up, I can’t speak, but I can still communicate. I write something on a paper and then give it to the nurses looking after me of what I would like to say, and that’s the way it is.

Anyway, when I’m fully back to life I can only see and move my eyes and some parts of my body, but I cannot do anything. I’m so helpless. So, when the hospital show me my wife speaking on the video, I can only nod my head. Then within a week I was able to move around. They transfer me to the chair to improve my breathing because during that time I am on oxygen. And then when I have a trachea in my neck, and when they do the suctioning, I feel like they are taking away all the air from my lungs and I don’t feel comfortable about that kind of thing because I’m so weak. And then maybe after a week or two I’m already out of bed, I’m already in the chair, so I can see my wife waving on the video, and then I am also waving, but that’s all I can do at the moment.

Then they said I can talk already; they have to put something on my trache and then I was able to talk a little bit. And then after that, after the video, they remove it again so I cannot talk anymore. I want to communicate and to tell everybody what I would like. They cannot understand me. So, I’m back to writing everything what I want on a piece of paper, and that’s the way, how I communicate

Covid patients on ICUs were not allowed visitors due to infection restrictions, unless they were thought to be at the end-of-life (see ‘End of life visits’). The absence of family members was unusual, difficult for staff and very isolating for patients (see ‘Experiences of the visitor ban’ in ‘Experiences of infection control measures’). Facilitating communication was therefore more important than ever. Hospitals often introduced digital means of communication – videoconferencing via tablets – and staff helped patients to use their own phones to communicate with their family and friends. Patients were often only able to nod, blink, or wave. Paul remembered: “Every time my wife phoned, I had to either nod my head, or my sister phoned I’d nod my head and wave, because the doctors really wanted to rest me and I was absolutely shattered after a phone call and writing on the whiteboard.” Although communication was challenging, these calls were a vital lifeline for the patients and their loved ones. They helped keep family members informed (see ‘Staying in touch during the visior ban’) helped motivate patients, and, for some, helped their confusion or delirium (see also Experiences of infection control measures’).

Some people chose not to speak to family members. Wendy, who was in ICU for a few days, felt her family would be too worried seeing her in critical care, and waited until she was back on the ward. Staff often encouraged patients to call their family members if they were hesitant to do so. Paula recalled that Victor initially did not want to call his family, but once he started, he found it really helpful. He then went on to call many other family members and friends. Paula also speaks about how difficult it was for her and their son to see Victor on the videocall (read more about experiences of seeing a relative in ICU for the first time).

 

Emma is particularly grateful to the nurse who encouraged her to call her family.

Emma is particularly grateful to the nurse who encouraged her to call her family.

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Do you remember any staff in particular from the ICU?

Yeah, I do, I do, one which shouldn’t work there at all. She terrified me, really terrified me. She was…and it’s horrible to say, she was a horrible lady, and that’s one of the reasons that I didn’t think I was going to make it out, because of how she treated me, and that’s… yeah, she was awful, really awful. And then I can’t remember the nurse’s name in the evening, who gave me the iPad and told me to phone my family, do you know what, he was a lifesaver, absolutely changed everything for me. And I tried to find out who he was, just to say to him…he didn’t do anything above and beyond what any normal human being would have done. It was just the one thing of…and he didn’t even talk to me really nicely as in like, oh…or like that, he was just like, phone your family. Phone your family, look, I’ll go and get something and phone your family, really matter of fact, really bang, bang, just like, you know, well, what’s the problem love, phone your family, sort of thing.

And he did, he brought it out and then he just kept coming over to me and…I mean, I think they only looked after two patients. He was looking after me and this man that had been on the ventilator for ages, and he said to me, oh, your…he said, it’s a good job he’s asleep, he said, because you’re going to take up a lot of my time. And he was really funny and nice, but…and he just…he was brilliant, but like I say, he didn’t do anything, and he probably would not have any memory of me, because what he did was just so normal, but it was really nice.

 

Victor called many friends from the hospital, which broke the ice for them to get in touch with him again.

Victor called many friends from the hospital, which broke the ice for them to get in touch with him again.

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They were very thorough in how they explained a lot of things to me, so I didn’t really need to, sort of, research the medication and stuff, because they would tell me what it was and what it was doing. So, they, in that sense, yeah, they were very thorough. I did look up...I knew what a trache was, but I’d looked it up to show my son, because they said to us when you see Vic on the camera, when they did the second...another Facetime...because Vic didn’t really want to do it. And then all of a sudden, he changed his mind and said he would. And I showed Rob. I said look, I said that’s what you might see is that it’s going to be a tube into the throat. I said, just so that you’re not, sort of, traumatised by it. So, we knew what we were going to be seeing but it...sometimes it was literally just a wave. And I said if that’s all we can have, I said that’s fine, just for us to know that he was okay. So sometimes it was literally just a wave, and he didn’t speak. But then they fitted him with the little speaking valve, and he had a few little conversations.

And then he was allowed to have his phone in, and I think the best thing for Vic was where he Facetimed so many people and they were shocked that he actually Facetimed them. And I think that broke the ice for a lot of people. That, you know, where he had been and where he had come from, to sort of speak to people like that. And he did it with my sisters and they said oh it was just so great to see him. So that was good.

Videoconferencing made an important difference to people receiving ICU treatment. This is most apparent when listening to those who did not have access to it. Carl was admitted to the ICU early on in the pandemic and described losing track of time; his admission felt “like years” and he felt “confused all the time, just didn’t really know anything”. Like many we spoke to, communication with his family helped Carl connect to normal life – the sights and sounds of home – which he felt so isolated from. Calling home helped him to temporarily regain a sense of orientation: “It was just like I’d jumped into another world because suddenly everything seemed to be sorting out.” Carl felt that had he been supported to call home earlier after waking up from ventilation, this “would have made a massive difference” to his sense of confusion and helped his recovery.

 

To Carl, speaking to his family temporarily made things feel normal again, and helped differentiate between delusions and what had really happened.

To Carl, speaking to his family temporarily made things feel normal again, and helped differentiate between delusions and what had really happened.

Age at interview: 50
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 50
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The one thing I probably missed is if I, I know you weren’t allowed anybody in there, but I think if I’d have seen somebody from my family or heard them on the telephone or something it would have made a huge difference to me. Because I was just so confused and thought so many things had happened that nothing in the world makes any sense. And you have all these crazy dreams going on in your head that don’t make any sense. As much as I sit here now and I think that’s all completely crazy, of course it wasn’t true, but when your head’s full of drugs and stuff that seemed to be normality and all these things were true.

When my wife phoned me, and they brought the phone through it made a massive difference to me. It literally took me from out of ten feeling about two to nine. It felt absolutely amazing because so many things that had bothered me, I could hear the kids in the background, I could hear my sons, and suddenly everything was normal. She said my parents hadn’t died, she was at home, everything was normal. Even though she told me I’d only been there a few weeks to me I still felt like I’d been in there several years. And in my head for some reason, I kept going back thinking I’d been there years and so much time had passed. I kept seeing, and I, so I was just like the whole time, I felt so much better when she’d phoned me, but I soon drifted back into this hallucination thing. The nurses said I’d seemed a lot better when she’d spoken to me, but I drifted back into things and I could see, I thought one of my sons was a nurse and going round.

Things that happened in these kinds of dreams and things were horrible. It was like mental torture. It was like how can terrify somebody as much as possible. It’s like dipping into your deepest conscious of what’s going on in your brain and how you can scare yourself. I don’t really scare that easy, and it was just dipping into things that I couldn’t even think of to try and terrify me. And it was awful. But I seemed I felt better every day.

For most of those we interviewed, it took time to have the energy and emotional strength to be in touch with their family and friends by themselves. Using a phone was often too complicated for someone who had recently been taken off ventilation and was fatigued and, in some case, immobile. Emma explains: “It takes a lot to talk to people when you first come out, because it’s effort, and you don’t have the strength, so it’s really…I wanted to talk to my mum and dad and my husband and the kids, so that was the only people until I went onto a ward, and I phoned like one other person. … Anyone else, I was too knackered to do it.”

In a few cases, patients had family members who also were admitted to hospital, which is unsurprising considering that Covid is a contagious disease. However, being in hospital at the same time did not mean family members were guaranteed to see each other. Shireen was on a general ward whilst her husband Yacoob was in intensive care. They barely had contact although just before her discharge, staff took her to see him on the ICU.

 

Shireen and Yacoob were both admitted to hospital. Whilst she was on a ward, he was in ICU.

Shireen and Yacoob were both admitted to hospital. Whilst she was on a ward, he was in ICU.

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So, when you were admitted to hospital, were you at any point together in hospital or were you separate?

Yeah. No, I am in the female unit, not far, but I want to visit so the nurse took me there. When I’d been discharged, he was ground floor, it's not in the ward, and it’s a different place. I forgot the name. So, they took me there in the last week, even though we talked over the phone, but he was not able to speak; a couple of weeks I couldn’t talk to him because his breathing, he can't even speak. If he speak too much his got a very bad breathing problem. So, I don’t want to speak to him. Only my son, who went to the doctor with rounds, so he spoke with them.

A few were in intensive care at the same time as a relative. Chris was admitted to the same ICU as his grandfather; they were positioned so they could see one another which he appreciated: “To see my granddad was nice… it’s nice in a way to know that I wasn’t totally alone in it.”

Contact with other patients

An ICU unit has multiple beds that are well spaced out. Patients are often attached to multiple machines, with their constant hums and beeps, and may or may not be conscious. Most Covid patients were either ventilated or wearing masks or hoods to administer oxygen. Some patients would have oxygen administered nasally under pressure. (See also ‘Experiences of CPAP, Mechanical ventilation and proning’).

Having conversations with other patients was very difficult. Peter recalled that the CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) mask made it difficult to speak: “it’s hard for [other patients] to hear you when you’ve got a CPAP mask on and you’re struggling to get words out … it was literally just the fact that you’ve got a mask on that’s forcing air into your mouth. And when you’re breathless you obviously find it a little bit harder to talk”. However, if they could, some found speaking to other patients helpful; it made the technical environment feel ‘more human’. Chris, who was ventilated through a CPAP mask, said: “because I was on a lighter mask, I was even able to talk to people. So, to even just be able to talk to another human for even just ten minutes a day was helpful.”

One of the unusual features of being critically ill with Covid during the pandemic was that almost everyone on the ICU was ill with the same infection. Patients we spoke to were acutely aware of this. It was difficult not to compare their trajectory to those of others around them (see also ‘Uncertain survival-witnessing other patients’ deaths’); this could be a source of comradery, but equally could be a source of distress. Some found it demoralising to see people around them struggling with the same infection, aware that these patients had been in the ICU for a long time and were very unwell. Carl found other people’s deterioration shocking and difficult to witness, but it also made him more determined to get better.

 

Carl felt stronger about wanting to survive when he saw other patients deteriorate.

Carl felt stronger about wanting to survive when he saw other patients deteriorate.

Age at interview: 50
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 50
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You look round and I could see everybody else how ill they were and then it sort of dawned on me that maybe I’m not that good after all, and maybe I’m just as bad as them, I just don’t realise it. And then I started asking more questions to the nurses and stuff, and they were like no, no, you'll be okay, you’ll be fine. But that was probably one moment where I really doubted, that I thought actually maybe I’m not good and maybe this is not…you think you’re okay but you’re in a false sense of security here because you’ve actually got a lot of things still wrong with you and looking round at other people.

Lots of things were flashing through my head. And you could see other people that didn’t seem to be getting better, they seemed to be getting worse, and I almost thought I’ve just got to survive this, I’ve got to get out of here, I must survive. It’s almost like self-preservation. It’s really strange how I probably get quite upset now when I look at people in the ICUs on TV and stuff, but I was just so determined to live. I had lots of other things wrong with me, my feet were black from pressure sores, I couldn’t feel my hand, I’ve got not much feeling in half of my hand and all the way down to my shoulder and stuff, arm and shoulder. And things like that didn’t bother me; I just wanted to just get out of there, just survive.

 

Rhod saw patients around him suffer and deteriorate, but there was no way to escape it.

Rhod saw patients around him suffer and deteriorate, but there was no way to escape it.

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So, we were several days into, into ICU, and each day his oxygen requirements went up and his oxygen saturations became progressively lower. And I think he was seeing people in the bay around him deteriorating faster than he was and he was seeing patients intubated and seeing patients proned. And at one point, he had a bed by the window but at one point he just felt like he just couldn’t bear seeing the trauma anymore. And he couldn’t…even if he closed his eyes, he could still see it in his mind’s eye, and he felt there was no escape. He couldn’t…to begin with he was able to get out of bed, but then as the days progressed, he became weaker and weaker and wasn’t able to. And he felt like though it was a trauma that he was in and could do nothing about.

So, he spoke to one of the medical consultants and just said is there any way that he could be moved out of that room into a side room. But our, our need for side rooms is really great and we don’t have that many side rooms, and at that point his oxygen requirement was so high that it would have been unsafe to move him anyway.

Victor learned that one woman had been on his ICU for five months, something he feared would be a possibility for him too: “There was one lady that was in there five months. I didn’t need to be told that because – this was after about four or five weeks – one of the doctors said oh, we’ve discharged a lady; she’s been in here five months. So straight away, psychologically, I felt that was the potential situation with me. The fact that they told me a fellow patient had been in here five months, that told me that potentially I could be in there five months. That’s how I took it. They didn’t have to tell me that. If I was less positive, that could have sent me in a different direction.” 

Support from staff, friends and strangers

Many people received an overwhelming number of messages on their phone from friends and family when they were in ICU – mostly via text, voice message and messages via social media. Because people were tired, on medication or confused, reading and responding to these messages was often exhausting and took many hours. However, having that support from friends and family outside the ICU helped them through a very difficult time.

 

Emma had too many messages to respond to, so she posted a general message on social media for all to read. She had the messages made into a book.

Emma had too many messages to respond to, so she posted a general message on social media for all to read. She had the messages made into a book.

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On my phone I had over 500 text messages off people, friends, everything. I had I don’t know how many WhatsApps, Facebook, all of that lot, I had so many different things, and I’ve got such a lovely circle of friends, and I sent…I done a message a couple of days later, because I was being bombarded constantly. And as the time went on, I could pick my phone up and I was getting better at doing different things, you know. And the more I used it, the more…and because there’s no-one else, so you are on your own there, so your phone becomes quite a big…they’re a big thing to us anyway, aren’t they, but it becomes a really big thing. Because I could chat to the kids, I could chat to [husband], my parents, my sister, my auntie, my friends.

And I was just…it’s like a snowball effect, everyone was just messaging and asking how I was, and I didn’t get to reply to all the messages, and so I put…it felt like an attention seeking, but it wasn’t. I’d had so many messages on Facebook, like hundreds, it was ridiculous, that in the end I thought, right, I’m just going to put something on this so people know I’m awake, I’m here, I’m fine, and I put this message on Facebook that made perfect sense, perfect sense to me. And I read it time and time again before I posted it, it was just like a quick sort of thing, a little paragraph, you know, boom, done, and then that way it would have kept people at bay for a bit. You know, my husband was being bombarded and so were my parents and sister, and this message, when I read back now, absolutely makes me die. It wasn’t even in English, it wasn’t even words. I have no idea when I read it, I know roughly what it said, but I do not know how I could have thought it made any sense at all. And it was just…I love it, I’ve had all the messages and that that I had when I was in hospital, my parents messaged me every day and my husband did and the kids, and just certain friends messaged me every day when I was asleep, and I’ve had it all made into a book.

Support also took unexpected forms. The COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in public view and support for those who were critically ill came from all corners of society. Paul received support messages from celebrities, arranged by his family. For Laurence, knowing there was support outside had a positive effect on his recovery.

 

That players of Paul’s favourite football team sent him messages of support contributed to his recovery. He hoped to sell one of the Hibs strips to raise some money for the NHS.

That players of Paul’s favourite football team sent him messages of support contributed to his recovery. He hoped to sell one of the Hibs strips to raise some money for the NHS.

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When I was recovering, I came out of ICU and recovering on another ward, I’m a big football supporter and my football team’s Hibernian, and some of the players phoned my son at home to wish him well and cheer him up. I got two of the Hibs players sent the video messages to cheer me up, and I got a phone call from one of my heroes who used to play for Hibs in the 1970s. His name was Pat Stanton. He phoned me, and I could not believe it. It was such a boost to my recovery. My wife handed in my mobile phone to the hospital and I had over 300 messages and texts from people wishing me well. At the start, in hospital they were texting once they’d heard, so they were sometimes 25 days old, these texts, but I couldn’t see them, I’d been in a coma, but I had a chance to read them, and people were just so on my side.

But the football players sending messages to me was really fantastic, and when I came out of a coma a couple of days later one of the nurses actually said to me, I’m going off…I’m on a roll now, I just keep remembering things. Sorry about this. She says, do you know Hibs…she knew Hibs were my team, they’re the first team in Britain to put thank you, NHS on their strips, on the front. I didn’t realise that because I’m in a coma. Then when I started to get better on ward, I thought I’ve got to try and get one of the Hibs strips and get all the doctors and nurses and consultants to sign it and try and raffle it and raise money to put into ward 20 at the hospital. So, when I got better, I done that, I handed the strip in and I got all the doctors and nurses to sign the strip. Because usually the football players sign the strip and you keep it as a memento, but I got all the doctors and nurses to sign it, and it’s in my house. Once lockdown finishes, I’m going to raffle it and try and raise some money for the NHS.

That’s a great idea, yeah.

Yeah.

Yeah. How did the football players get your number, and how did they know you were in hospital?

The word got round [place in Scotland]. Just friends of friends of friends. I don’t know how they done it. Someone designed a poster and there was maybe 30 or 40 people on my Facebook, they all had this poster, and it was the Hibs badge, their motif, and a Lambretta scooter, because I like Lambretta scooters, and it said welcome home, [nickname]. That’s what I get called. So, when I opened up Facebook when I could use it again all Facebook was covered in this badge. Everybody was doing it. I thought, wow, everybody was rooting for me. But friends of friends just got in touch with Hibs players and said could you do this; it will only take a few minutes. But it was a real boost to my wife and my son and my family that everybody was thinking of me.

They’ll certainly have your support for the rest of your life.

Aye.

 

Laurence believed that the positive vibes people sent him may have had an effect on his recovery.

Laurence believed that the positive vibes people sent him may have had an effect on his recovery.

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I mean, all those sorts of emotions of the dreams were about getting to a kind of destination. I think, for me and that that might have been my own drive to kind of want to get well would be my light at the end of my tunnel that was driving me on. I know I had a lot of people, and whether it’s the right or the wrong thing to say, I’m not a deeply religious person, I don’t believe in a particular God. I mean, I’m lucky enough maybe like you to have travelled around all over the place and been to Asia and other parts of the world and have witnessed different Gods and all that sort of stuff. And the problems it can create but I do have a faith in something or other and there were a lot of people who were sending positive vibes to me. I have some stories of my daughter’s boyfriend has a strong Italian connection and his mother is a Reiki healer and there was an entire congregation of a family in Italy praying for me through him, through my…it’s stuff like that. I’m thinking, well, I don’t know, did that have any effect? Is that worth contemplating? Is that real?

Staff members were often an important source of support, particularly in the absence of visitors. Patients described the conversations, morale boosters and small gestures that had made a big impact. These ranged from bringing in sweets they knew particular patients liked to singing songs for somebody whose birthday it was whilst they were in ICU (see for more about staff-patient relationships, ‘Support from staff’).

Support from faith and religion

For George, Michael, John and others, faith was an important source of support. Some prayed on the ward for their improvement. Others had religious staff members praying for them – a pastor or an imam would come to ICU or meet them via an online conferencing platform. Some nurses prayed for patients as well.

Royston and Caroline told us that they had prayer groups in various places around the world praying for them whilst they were critically unwell. Jenny told us she had her church pray for her “every single night for the eight weeks” when she was in hospital. Knowing she had support of other people helped her. “And the pastor was allowed to come into ICU, so he came in twice and then I had a Zoom meeting with him another time.”

 

George started praying when he heard that he may not survive.

George started praying when he heard that he may not survive.

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When I was in hospital, I think when they tried and I gained consciousness a bit, because I’m allergic to penicillin and certain medications. I have whatever it is, a wristband, an allergy NHS wristband on my…you could see with my watch. So, I think one of the doctors read it and then said I can’t help you, but I’ve been warned that if I have serious conditions which those medications I cannot use them, I’m going to lose my life. So, in fact when he said it, the thought just occurred that, look, this is the time, and I’m not sure I’m going to make it, you know? So, I started praying, but I was praying when I went off. Because I was in and out of consciousness, but every time they tried, I come back, I go, I come back, I go, you know?

 

Michael did not remember anything from being ventilated. That a nurse prayed for him during that time made him realise how ill he had been.

Michael did not remember anything from being ventilated. That a nurse prayed for him during that time made him realise how ill he had been.

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I’ve got those maybe 11 days or so which I’m partly aware of but I’m not aware of. So really, it’s a case of me at the moment just having to rely on my sister’s memories. So, it’s almost like that period of my life is still very much unaccounted for.

Can you say a bit more about what that’s like? So, you have a period of time you don’t remember?

It’s, for me it was quite literally going to sleep and waking up two weeks later. It’s I know you can’t account for every day of your life, but sometimes, say something as major as this, it would be nice to be able to know what was happening.

I mean what was quite a shock to me as well, as I said, I didn’t have my phone all this time, and when I eventually got the phone all these messages were streaming in, and I wasn’t aware of the severity of, you know, it was at one point 50:50 chance of whether I would survive or not. So, to actually read those kind of things in the discharge summary, that I think is where that nurse I mentioned that played the music to me, he said that he prayed for me after seeing me. And to me that was…you’re kind of used to…not used to, but you would expect that somebody in that position would see a lot of people in that condition. But to think that I was suitably ill or whatever for him to feel that he had to pray for me, kind of meant a lot to me. And at work as well. I work at a Catholic school, and they had various masses for me, and I had a candle…[inaudible] …some notes, I think it’s a very sacred place, but I had a candle put there for me as well, and they prayed for me. So those kind of things are kind of special to me as well.

Wendy could feel that other people thought about them and wondered if this had contributed to their improvement.

 

Wendy could feel the love that was sent to her through prayers.

Wendy could feel the love that was sent to her through prayers.

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And, at some point, you mentioned that, that faith has played a role for you in helping your recovery?

Oh, definitely, I’ve got a very strong faith, and I have done for years. So, yeah, yes, so I’ve lots of friends praying for me and lots of, even, you know, my son-in-law’s parents are Christians and they had their church praying for me; and, I had about four churches locally praying for me, as well as my friends and family who are that way inclined, shall we say. So, yes, so that…and…and I know when I laid in ICU I was getting all these wonderful texts and, you know, just heard what happened, you know, and sending you our love and, or praying for you, or whatever it might be. But it was really tangible. You could…I know it sounds ridiculous but, you could really feel that love. You could really feel it and, yeah, you know, I feel quite emotional now, I felt really blessed to have the people around me that I have around me.

Knowing that they had support of other people helped people. Caroline felt she was able to turn the corner because others prayed for her.

 

Caroline believed that people praying for her throughout the night when her condition was most critical enabled her to turn the corner.

Caroline believed that people praying for her throughout the night when her condition was most critical enabled her to turn the corner.

Age at interview: 58
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 57
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I remember asking a nurse to take the gloves off my hands because I thought I had black gloves on. And I remember them telling me, no, those are your hands. Now I thought that happened on the ward but looking at my notes, that actually happened in ICU. And it was the day after that that the doctors told me that my hands and feet had to be amputated.

Now apparently, I was very upset. I don’t remember that. I remember being told again on the ward, or maybe this was down in ICU, I remember being told that my hands and feet were going to be amputated. And I had huge peace about it. Now there were lots of people praying for me. There were people praying for me actually all around the world, it was quite amazing. Because I am a Christian and my close friend heard about it and she basically mobilised a whole prayer team. And when they were going to withdraw care because I was so ill, she got people praying all through the day and night. And that’s when I turned the corner.

And I really do know that that prayer carried me. I believe that’s one of the things that enabled me to turn the corner, that huge outpouring of concentrated prayer, you know. Another friend recently contacted me to pray that…to tell me that when my pastor had told them that the hospital were going to turn the machines off, she prayed for me all night that night. And it’s just incredible, it really is. I know that after they heard, families from the school where I teach, some of them who are Christians were praying for me and got their churches praying for me. I can see a world tour coming on where I just go and visit all these churches to say thank you.

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