Marta Fernández, a 25 year veteran at Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar. Speaks of the solitude patients fell in isolation
Barcelona’s Angels of Mercy help combat isolation: Although cases are lower than the initial outbreak, seeing patients isolated at end of life is heartbreaking.
“The worst thing about this pandemic is seeing how patients deal alone with the entire disease process. Even with their own death,” says Fernández. “Seeing them die alone is the hardest of all.”
With restrictions on visiting, many elderly and sick patients are totally isolated during their end of life period. Being alone without the comfort of family and friends is absolutely heartbreaking to see. We all help as much as we can, assisting with video chats on mobile devices to family and friends where possible. And providing the little things that make a difference when people are totally isolated from normal life.
In the cover picture Fernández provides a tablet computer for 94-year-old María Teresa Argullos Bove. To enable her to speak to her sister, children and grandchildren from her hospital bed.
Asked when she will be allowed home she says. “I still can’t leave, but soon, soon” as she blows kisses to her family.
Another worker at the hospital, Ana Aguilar said. “I asked one of my patients, a woman in the last days of her life, if there was anything she could do for her”. The patient replied that “she wanted to eat salmorejo, a traditional creamy tomato soup.”
The caring Aguilar made the soup at home and brought it to the patient who repeated “tasty, tasty, tasty,” after each spoonful.
Many patients say they are “eternally grateful” to the nursing staff. They go beyond the call of duty to help us through these isolated times without friends and family around us.
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