A British doctor at the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic has posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook about how he made the “difficult decision” to treat his patients rather than staying with his cancer-stricken 3-year-old son, Alfie.
Dr. Nick Dennison, an anesthesiologist at Firmley Park Hospital, about 37 miles southwest of London, said in his lengthy post Sunday that he has been called to assume the role of intensive care doctor to treat the sickest patients.
“On a more personal level, my son turned three years old last week and is six weeks into a three-year chemotherapy program for lymphoma,” he wrote.
“This virus is a big threat to his life and as I am going to be exposed this week doing my job, I can no longer live at home,” Dennison continued.
“I have had to make the difficult choice: to do my job and save lives of people I don’t know, or to be with my son whilst he battles cancer. Alfie hopefully will survive his cancer and chemo, but many people will die from flu.
“My heart is broken making this decision, but I choose to save the lives of strangers and leave him in the care of my beautiful wife and family,” he added.
“Later this week I’ll be moving into a motor home and will not be able to take any further part in his care for the next 6 months,” Dennison said, adding ominously: “Bottom line. SOCIALLY ISOLATE or people die in two weeks.”
He said his hospital usually has between four and 10 people on ventilators, but that it was expecting as many as 80.
“It seems the public health message is not getting through. Let me be clear. A lot of people are going to die. They will mainly be 70 years plus but be in no doubt, 30-40 year olds will die too,” he said.
“Pubs have been busy, offices open, social events happening, kids parties etc. It all needs to stop.
“Infected people shed virus and it must be everywhere by now. It is your social responsibility to engage in social distancing. Actions NOW can prevent further disease transmission, ICU admissions and deaths in 10-20 days.”