‘My heart is broken’
NHS doctor to live in motorhome to protect son
An NHS intensive-care doctor working on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis has moved into a motorhome to protect his three-year-old son, who is battling cancer.
Nick Dennison is an anaesthetist at Frimley Park hospital in Surrey, but is now working as an intensive-care doctor to help put the most ill Covid-19 patients on ventilators.
His son, Alfie, has recently started a three-year chemotherapy programme
as he fights cancer. Dennison is to move out of the family home so he can continue treating coronavirus patients without putting Alfie at risk.
“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,” Dennison wrote in a Facebook post that has been shared more than 91,000 times. “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.
“Later this week I’ll be moving into a motorhome and will not be able to
take any further part in his care for the next six months.”
Alfie turned three last week and is suffering from lymphoma, which affects the immune system.
“Alfie hopefully will survive his cancer and chemo, but many people will die from flu,” said Dennison. “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.”
On Sunday, Frimley Park hospital reported the deaths of five patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 and Dennison said the intensive-care
unit was already full, with 12 patients on ventilators after catching Covid-19.
His post finished with a plea to the public to physically distance themselves from others to limit the spread of disease and ease the burden on already stretched NHS services.
“Pubs have been busy, offices open, social events happening, kids parties etc. It all needs to stop,” he said.
“Infected people shed virus … 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. Bottom line.”