Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomePregnant nurse, 28, felt ‘pressured’ to work despite her concerns, inquest told

Pregnant nurse, 28, felt ‘pressured’ to work despite her concerns, inquest told

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A heavily-pregnant nurse working with Covid patients at the start of the pandemic felt “pressured” to return to work despite concerns for her safety, her inquest heard.

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, 28, was a sister at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital and worked on the wards up until March 12 2020 when she was signed off work with back problems, her widower Ernest Boateng told Bedfordshire and Luton Coroner’s Court.

But Mr Boateng said she continued to go in to hospital to confirm her ill-health, and to attend medical appointments.

Ms Agyapong was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties on April 5 but was discharged later that day, and was readmitted two days later with coronavirus symptoms, at 35 weeks pregnant.

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong inquest / PA Media

Surgeons safely delivered the baby, also named Mary, by Caesarean section before Ms Agyapong was transferred to the intensive care unit, where she died on April 12.

The preliminary cause of death was given as pneumonia and Covid-19.

Giving evidence to the inquest, Mr Boateng said: “Mary continued to work during this time (the start of the coronavirus outbreak), but she was very concerned about the situation involving Covid-19, so much so that when she came home from work she would take her clothes off at the front door and take a shower immediately.

“She was very worried about bringing Covid into the home.”

Mr Boateng, a mental health worker currently studying for a Masters in law, said she also began sleeping in the spare room at the family home to protect her husband and their son, AJ.

Mr Boateng, 30, added: “She told me the staff were very scared about the virus because they were on the front line and likely to come into contact with Covid-19 patients.

“I wanted her to stay at home. But due to high demand at the hospital, she had to continue working.

“She tried to reassure me that everything would be okay but I could understand she was anxious and panicking deep down.”

Mr Boateng said he strongly believed his wife, originally from Ghana contracted coronavirus while at work.

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