Coronavirus patients are conscious as they die, and beg to say goodbye to loved ones, according to a doctor on Italy’s frontline.
Dr. Francesca Cortellaro, from the San Carlo Borromeo Hospital in Milan, described the haunting final moments of those on their death beds, as the European country battles the worst outbreak outside of China.
“You know what’s most dramatic? Seeing patients dying alone, listening to them as they beg you to say goodbye to their children and grandchildren,” Dr. Cortellaro told the Italian paper Il Giornale, according to Sky News.
“When they are about to die, they sense it,” she added.
“They are lucid, they do not go into narcolepsy. It is as if they were drowning, but with time to understand it.”
Most of the more than 15,000 infected in Italy are elderly people — and often their only way to say goodbye to their loved ones is via a video phone call.
“I pulled out the phone and called her on video,” Cortellaro said of one dying grandmother’s request to see her granddaughter.
“They said goodbye. Soon after she was gone.”
With 15,113 confirmed cases as of Friday evening — and more than 1,016 deaths — Italy remains on lockdown, as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Europe the new epicenter of the pandemic.
At another hospital in Milan, a new patient is admitted every five minutes, ABC News reported.
Dr. Massimo Galli, head of the infectious disease unit at Sacco Hospital, said the facility is reaching a point of “complete saturation.”
The good news is virus-free patients are being discharged every two or three hours, Dr. Galli told the outlet, but there are still not enough beds to treat everyone and the virus isn’t expected to reach peak-spread for at least two weeks.
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