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Coronavirus reality as Australian nurse in UK reveals heartbreak of losing work mate

An Australian woman working on the coronavirus front-line in the UK has described the harrowing battle against COVID-19 and how she lost a colleague to the disease.  

Kathryn Lennon, 25, works in the intensive care units at two of London’s busiest teaching hospitals. 

Her ward is considered the last line of defence for patients who have been hit the hardest from the virus.

‘I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn’t expect it to be this heart-wrenching and for this many people to die,’ Ms Lennon said. 

Ms Lennon has watched countless patients struggling to breathe through ventilators and even had to suffer the heartbreak of losing a work colleague.

An Australian nurse (pictured, Kathryn Lennon) working in the UK has revealed the horrors of the coronavirus after losing a colleague and witnessing patients hooked up to ventilators 

Lennon, 25, works in the intensive care units at two of London's busiest teaching hospitals

Kathryn Lennon, 25, works in the intensive care units at two of London’s busiest teaching hospitals

‘All morning we were working on her, trying to get her lungs better, and then her heart just stopped,’ Ms Lennon told ABC.

She added one of the most difficult parts of the job is keeping families separated from patients in the intensive care units.

Only when the patient has passed away can they see their loved one – even then, they have to be given a rundown on how to wear personal protective equipment.  

Coronavirus has infected more than 270,000 people and killed almost 40,000 in the UK alone.  

The sudden influx of patients being admitted to hospital has put a strain frontline staff, who have to care for as many as three patients at a time. 

With an already stretched workforce, Ms Lennon said she has no choice but to skip some of her breaks during her 12-hour long shifts.  

‘You’ll be there for two hours and you’ll be fine and then all of a sudden think, ‘I need to step out, I feel dizzy’,’ Ms Lennon said.

Ms Lennon has watched countless patients struggling to breathe through ventilators and even had to suffer the heartbreak of losing a work colleague

Ms Lennon has watched countless patients struggling to breathe through ventilators and even had to suffer the heartbreak of losing a work colleague

With an already strained workforce, Ms Lennon said she has no choice but to skip some of her breaks during her 12-hour long shifts

With an already strained workforce, Ms Lennon said she has no choice but to skip some of her breaks during her 12-hour long shifts

Ms Lennon is originally from Australia but now lives in Clapham, south west London

Ms Lennon is originally from Australia but now lives in Clapham, south west London  

Ms Lennon also described the incredibly uncomfortable PPE she had to wear in order to protect herself against the virus. 

On top of her scrubs and hat, the nurse must also wear a face mask, plastic visor, full cape and gloves that are taped around her wrists.  

Drinking water or going to the toilet is essentially out of the question, until Ms Lennon has her break.

‘Then there’s steps you have to follow, you have to alcohol gel your hands, you have to wash and scrub your hands,’ she said.

Ms Lennon said nurses could be away for as long as 45 minutes just because of the painstaking process of taking off and putting back on protective equipment.

Despite the hardship Ms Lennon credits her persistence to a supportive work team. 

She says workers from every level – doctors, surgeons and nurses – have been giving 100 per cent to their work and offered to help anyone who they think might be struggling.

Ms Lennon says she has also received plenty of supportive messages from the public, but downplays any heroism.

She says at the end of the day, she is just doing her job. 

Ms Lennon says she has also received plenty of supportive messages from the public, but downplays any heroism

Ms Lennon says she has also received plenty of supportive messages from the public, but downplays any heroism

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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