Final photo of dying woman shared as 'wake up' call over Covid-19

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Mother asked daughter from Northern Ireland to take picture at hospital in Cumbria

A woman who shared a final photo of her dying mother in hospital has said she did so in order to warn the public about the dangerous realities of Covid-19.

Deborah Buchanan, from Newtownabbey in County Antrim, said she was asked by her mother, Joan Wright, 75, to take the photo last week in what were some of the last words she uttered.

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World news | The Guardian

A woman who shared a final photo of her dying mother in hospital has said she did so in order to warn the public about the dangerous realities of Covid-19.

Deborah Buchanan, from Newtownabbey in County Antrim, said she was asked by her mother, Joan Wright, 75, to take the photo last week in what were some of the last words she uttered.

A Facebook post by Buchanan featured the photo, taken at Furness general hospital, Cumbria, showing her mother in bed and with family members around her, dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE). They included Buchanan’s father, who she said was still in hospital.

Joan Wright died with her husband holding her hand and with other family members by her side.

“We had to watch her gasp her last breaths and slip away in agony,” Buchanan wrote in the post, which has been shared more than 4,000 times.

“My dad says this is the worst thing he has ever felt in his life, he fears going to sleep in case he doesn’t wake up. They hadn’t left the house in weeks but still picked this up and both took very unwell. My dad is still in hospital and not out of the woods yet, his heart is broken and he has to continue to fight to try and beat this.”

She added: “This is the reality of coronavirus. Wake up and wise up. This is not going away anytime soon and more and more people are going to die. Don’t let it be your parent or grandparent or any member of your family who ends up like this. Stay away from those you love, and protect yourselves and them.”

The couple had both tested positive for Covid-19 on 20 April after being admitted to hospital three days earlier. Buchanan said she received a call from the hospital on Wednesday last week asking her to come as soon as possible, and family members were provided with PPE.

Buchanan told Northern Ireland’s Sunday Life newspaper that her mother and father had moved to Cumbria 15 years ago to retire. They had been together for more than 50 years.


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