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A personal experience of a nurse attending to severely ill COVID-19 patients

By Rulla, an intensive care and cardiac nurse from Israel

Patients in corona wards who die from the virus, end their lives absolutely alone, without the comfort of seeing their loved ones – members of their family and close friends. Patients' families are not allowed to be by their side due to the fear of contracting and spreading the virus.

This sad void is filled by nurses, who care for them and try to give them comfort over long hours in difficult moments.


"I didn't hesitate when asked to volunteer for the corona ward at my hospital. I made special personal contact with seriously ill patients, some of whom I accompanied throughout their final moments. I would like to describe how I felt when one of my patients passed away. I was by his side for hours on end for a whole month, holding his hand, talking to him and praying for him. Eventually, I saw him in a black bag.

E, an elderly male patient in serious condition started to improve and my staff hoped for a full recovery and that he could soon be back with his family. Sadly, he suddenly relapsed and passed away. I took his case very personally as I felt that I had played a significant part at the end of his life. I sat with him alone in the room and chatted with him from time to time, even when he was too ill to respond, telling him what was going on outside, and hoping that he would soon open his eyes and see me. He should not be afraid of the strange suit I was wearing. I also told him a little about myself.

In the patients' last moments, it is important to me and my colleagues to help them to feel as comfortable as possible, when washing them to put on perfume or cream if any, and talk to them to give them the feeling that they are not alone.

On one occasion I completely broke down. It was 2am and there was silence in the hospital while we, wearing our "suits" and looking like aliens, were putting the deceased into a bag. It was so surreal. It was an experience that will accompany me for life."


Rulla, an intensive care and cardiac nurse from Israel.