Daughter describes devastation of COVID after mother died lying next to her in intensive care

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
Anabel Sharma described how her family ended up being infected by COVID-19. (Facebook/Humans of covid-19)
Anabel Sharma described how her family ended up being infected by COVID-19. (Facebook/Humans of covid-19)

A woman has described the devastation of coronavirus after lying next to her mother in hospital as she died from the virus.

Anabel Sharma warned other people “don’t let this be you”, urging them to stick to the rules, as she described how COVID-19 “ravaged” her family.

Sharma, 49, shared her story on a Facebook group 'Humans of Covid-19', describing how she and her mother were both rushed to A&E towards the end of last year and were moved to ITU after beds were freed up by the death of other patients.

Echoing warnings by NHS staff about the pressures on the health system due to COVID, Sharma wrote: “What you read about NHS bed pressures is true, it isn’t like the flu and people are dying or if they are a survivor like me, they may never be the same again.”

Sharma described how the ITU team organised for her bed to be next to her mum’s so she could “be with her until the end”.

Calling it “the darkest period of my life”, she said she was too unwell to attend her funeral and had to watch it via live stream.

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She wrote: “I was alone, as were my family, we couldn’t comfort each other, it broke my already fragile heart.”

The mum-of-three told the Mirror her family fell ill with the virus after her 12-year-old son contracted it following his return to school in September.

Watch: More COVID-19 patients in NHS hospitals than during April peak

She, her husband, her other sons, and her mother all fell ill within days, with her and her mother taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary in mid-October.

Her mother died two weeks later after explaining she had signed a Do Not Resuscitate order.

In Sharma’s Facebook post, written before Christmas along with a warning for people to act sensibly over the festive season, she also described the ongoing effects of the virus on her health.

“I am on oxygen and have life-changing, permanent lung damage,” she wrote.

“I have PTSD which is common for people who spend a long time on ITU. My nightmares are terrifying and I wake up screaming and crying, I don’t feel like me anymore! I can’t walk 5 metres without getting breathless and am fatigued all the time.”

Watch: What is long COVID?