A Swedish woman living in London has praised Royal London staff members for the exceptional care she received after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 pneumonia.
Malin Dahlman, 32, originally from Gothenburg in Sweden had been suffering from a high temperature for over a week at her home in Shadwell, east London.
On the afternoon of 23 March, Miss Dahlman then had to call an ambulance after she started struggling to breathe ‘out of nowhere’.
She was admitted to the Royal London Emergency Department where she was treated by staff members on shift.
“I had been feeling awful the whole week prior. I felt lethargic, achy, and had a temperature of 39°. I suspected it was coronavirus even though I don’t know how or where I caught it. I was just trying to rest in the hopes that my symptoms would pass. They didn’t. Out of nowhere I started struggling to breathe and I began to panic. I had to call an ambulance who came and took me to the emergency room at the Royal London”.
After spending one night in ED, Miss Dahlman was moved to the respiratory ward for further tests. Six hours after being in the respiratory ward, her breathing started to become worse so she was then moved to the Intensive Care Unit where she was prepared for a ventilator.
“I was alone and I was so scared! I had different needles going into my body and I had tubes up my nose; I had never experienced anything like it. The head of department said I was on the verge of needing a ventilator but at the last minute said it was not necessary. Instead, I got a ‘CPAP mask that forced air into my lungs and I was constantly monitored for 48 hours.
Despite all of this and being scared for my life, the thing that made the most difference was the staff members. Because I had tested positive for Covid-19, I wasn’t able to have any friends or family with me, but the staff members were absolutely fantastic throughout my whole stay.
I had a night nurse from ICU called Mary who was just super reassuring. I struggled getting to sleep being hooked up to so much equipment, but she was always there when I needed. The junior doctors who had just been deployed were also amazing and made such an effort to make sure I felt comfortable. I can’t remember all of their names but there were several other staff members who were fantastic. They know who they are.
Struggling to breathe and being given the news that I had a double-sided chest infection due to Covid-19 made me extremely worried for my life, but every single staff member who treated me at the Royal London made my experience just that little bit easier.
I really wanted to get in contact to express my gratitude and to encourage them to keep on doing what they’re doing. They’re helping you and reassuring you, and this gives you such positive energy and makes you ready to fight it”.
After spending 8 days in ICU, thankfully, Miss Dahlman recovered from the virus and was discharged from hospital on 5 April. Since then, she’s been resting and easing her way back into her role as a brand strategist (from home). She’s also been watching a lot of Netflix.
She’s also been interviewed by Sweden’s largest evening newspaper where she spoke very highly about staff at the Royal London and shared her experience of having coronavirus. The article is in Swedish, but you can translate to English.