Wife had just 15 minutes to say goodbye to the man she had loved

Wife reveals heartbreaking moment she had just 15 minutes to say goodbye to the man she had loved for more than 15 years before he died of coronavirus

  • Keith Parker, from Romford, was rushed to Queen’s Hospital in east London 
  • He passed away in the early hours of Easter Sunday (April 12) from the virus
  • His family have now set up a gofundme page to raise funds for his funeral
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A wife was given just 15 minutes to offer a heartbreaking final goodbye to her husband of 15 years as he lost his life to coronavirus.

Joanna Parker, from Romford, was able to make the journey to Queen’s Hospital in east London to visit her dying husband Keith Parker after doctors told her the father-of-four could have just ‘three hours or 24 hours’ to live.

Describing the moment as ‘something out of a film’, Mr Parker’s wife was given gloves, a gown and a face mask as she sat inside the Covid-19 ward and watched her ‘caring’ husband lie in a hospital bed.

Mr Parker, who was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) just days earlier, passed away in the early hours of Easter Sunday (April 12) from the virus.    

Joanna Parker (right with Keith Parker), from Romford, made the the journey to Queen’s Hospital in east London to  say goodbye to her dying husband 

On April 15, a gofundme page, organised by Mr Parker’s daughter Taylor, was set up in order for the grieving family to give the ‘wonderful father husband and grandfather’ the ‘send off that he deserves’.

A message written by Taylor on behalf of wife Mrs Parker reads:  ‘At 4am on the 12th of April my world fell apart my brave husband Keith Parker fell asleep due to the Covid 19 outbreak.

‘I have to say it was one of the hardest days of my life and with this dreadful virus my hubby had to die alone with none of us around him slowly suffering alone struggling to catch every last breath that he had.’  

The message continued: ‘I had to be all masked and dressed up I could only hold his hand I could not stroke his face or kiss him one last time. I had to just sit there watching him struggle to breath. 

‘When I left all I could do was wave bye watching him looking at me as I leave and knowing this was the last time i would ever see him.’

Just a few weeks prior to the government’s lockdown, Mr Parker’s 15-year-old daughter Ellen-Betty Parker was sent home from school after coming down with a fever and cough. 

Soon his wife Joanna, daughter Taylor and 11-month-old daughter also began to present with mild symptoms of the virus.

The family immediately stopped going out and strictly followed the lockdown rules in an effort to protect Mr Parker who only had one lung and also had chronic asthma and diabetes. 

Daughter Taylor said: ‘We knew that dad was risk so we haven’t been going out anywhere, only to the shops and getting medication. 

Mr Parker, who was described by his family as a ‘wonderful father husband and grandfather’, passed away on April 12

The family of Mr Parker have now set up a  gofundme page  in order give the father-of-four (believed to be pictured with his children left and right) the ‘send off that he deserves’

‘He had a lot of underlying health issues like chronic asthma and diabetes.

‘He became ill Monday (April 6) and we called an ambulance as we knew he was high risk. But because he was breathing fine they won’t take you in just in case you don’t have it and you could get it in the hospital.

‘They said if he is struggling to breathe then don’t be afraid to call again.’

On Wednesday, Mr Parker was prescribed with medication for what doctors suspected might be pneumonia but on the morning of Good Friday his condition began to deteriorate.

Taylor continued: ‘I went downstairs on the Good Friday and he didn’t look right. He wasn’t breathing, he had really short breaths and his face was grey, his lips were blue.

‘My friend is a paramedic and my neighbour is a nurse and they said to check his breathing reps and they said to call an ambulance straight away.

‘They came and they were asking him questions and he couldn’t talk because his breathing was so bad.’

Mr Parker was soon rushed into hospital where he underwent a series of tests.

Taylor added: ‘We thought nothing of it. We thought that he would be back in a couple of days because last year he was in and out of hospital a lot.

‘We were used to him going in and coming out. They admitted him on the Friday and we didn’t know where he was because he couldn’t talk to us on the phone.

‘Mum got in contact with the hospital and they said he was in resus and they would move him up to the ward in a couple of hours.’

However on Sunday morning, Mr Parker’s breathing dropped and he was put on a ventilator. 

Taylor added: ‘They said that they had put him on a ventilator and they were doing everything they could, but there’s nothing more they can do.

‘They said ‘If it gets to that point, we will phone you and contact you if there’s enough time.’

Just three hours later, the family were told they had between ‘three to 24 hours’ to say goodbye.  

Taylor said: ‘It was only my mum who could spend 15 minutes with him to say goodbye. It was really hard. They said that we needed to get here and come down. They said it could be a matter of three or 24 hours.

‘I stayed in the car in the hospital car park so there was someone when she came out.

‘She went in and said it was the most horrible thing she has ever seen. That entire ward of 38 other people, it was something out of the films she said, it was absolutely horrible.

‘She didn’t get to hug him or kiss him, she was gloved up and wearing the other things and that horrible face mask.             

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: ‘We are working incredibly hard in these unprecedented times to look after Londoners.

‘On Monday 6 April we were called at 12:44pm to reports of a person unwell at an address in Romford.

‘We sent an ambulance crew and our clinicians treated a person at the scene and advised them to call back if their condition changed.

‘We attended the address again on 10 April at 2:46pm. Our clinicians treated a person at the scene and took them to hospital.

‘We would like to express our sympathy to the family at this very difficult time.’

To donate to the GoFundMe visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/supporting-the-parker-family


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