Tearful mum tells of when kids said goodbye to coronavirus-hit dad who is clinging to life despite 0% chance of survival

A TEARFUL mum has broken down telling the heartbreaking story of when her two teenage kids had to say goodbye to their coronavirus-suffering dad in hospital.

Sue Martin, 49, told how Hana, 16, and William, 13, were granted ten precious minutes to say their farewells to their sick father in intensive care last weekend – but he is still hanging on so far despite a near zero per cent change of survival.

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Mal Martin, 58, has been in hospital in South Wales for over a week after his illness deteriorated and he started to struggle to breathe.

The family had an emotional final Facetime with him before he was rushed into intensive care and put straight on a ventilator.

She told Radio 4 today: "It was difficult for him to talk as he had an oxygen mask on and it was struggling to breathe.

"We just told him how much we loved him.

"I said I was really sorry that I hadn't sent him in sooner.

"He promised he was going to fight it, he said to my daughter, who is 16, 'don't worry, I'll be around for a while yet, I'm going to be here for your wedding and for you both growing up, and to
see William play rugby for Wales'."

It was heartbreaking to hear the children say they were going to make him proud.

He texted to tell her he was "going to fight it, it's not his time, and he missed [her] too much".

But the messages stopped going through when he was admitted into the ICU.

"That day really was when everything changed for us, we've been existing since," she said.

"I wish we had been able to give him a hug."

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The couple, who were wed in 1996, have been together for 28 years.

Just days earlier he had had a persistent cough and was sick with the bug – but like Boris Johnson was unable to shake it off after a week.

Within a few days his lungs and kidneys started to fail – and the family begged doctors to let them have ten minutes to say their final goodbyes.

"They said that there was almost 0 per cent chance he was going to survive," she said.

"They were at the max level that they could give him of adrenaline to keep his blood pressure high enough, and that he was on the brink.

"They couldn't do anything more for him and it would be a case that his organs would start shutting down and start failing.

"I rang back later that day and begged to be able to see him."

A kind nurse at the hospital waited for her to arrive and helped the family to kit up in layers of personal protection before they were allowed in.

Mal is still hanging in there, but the doctors are not hopeful of him making it through.

"We weren't allowed to touch him but we could speak to him," she said as she broke down.

"Essentially we were going in to say our goodbyes.

Although every day we prepare for the worse, there is this little glimmer that maybe, just maybe, he might turn a corner.

"I said to the children, 'you don't have to do this, there is no right or wrong, you have to do what you feel', but they wanted very much to come and see him.
"[The nurses] were so wonderful – so compassionate and empathetic.

"They gowned us up; we were in so many layers of masks, aprons, hair nets.

"It was so hot and difficult to breathe.

"They took us in, they put the screen around the bed and let us have ten minutes with him.

"It was like he was just asleep, but he had so many tubes and wires in him.

"We came in and I told him we loved him. It was heartbreaking to hear the children say they were going to make him proud.

"We were really glad to have that time with him. It was very hard not being able to touch him but we were glad we got to see him."

Doctors warned them that Monday was likely to be his last day – but as of Wednesday Mal was still alive.


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He had a slightly improvement and his blood pressure had raised slightly, Sue said.

"They have obviously made it very clear he is still extremely desperately ill and there's still almost only 0 per cent chance of him pulling through.

"He's been the same for the last two days. No improvement, but no further deterioration.

"Although every day we prepare for the worse, there is this little glimmer that maybe, just maybe, he might turn a corner."

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