Is there a good way to tell somebody that Coronavirus will kill you because of an existing condition? This is a question which popped into my mind whilst watching the news this morning. Everybody around the globe is being forced to look at how finite life actually is, but for those with pre-existing conditions, it is like having the Sword of Damacles hanging over you. Two years ago, I was taken into a hospital side-room and I was told that I had reached a point in my Cerebral Palsy and Scoliosis journey where it had left the Doctors with no choice but to start the conversations about end of life choices and treatment that would be suitable when I will become seriously ill. I was advised this could be with Sepsis, which I have developed thirteen times due to complications to my kidneys caused by cerebral palsy and a high level of kidney stones. Then, to compound the serious nature of my illness, my scoliosis has left me with a restricted chest cavity, which leaves me with a restricted lung and a compressed heart. My Doctor told me in a gentle and very compassionate way, that if I went into respiratory failure again there would be very limited and stark choices open to me. This was brought back to me when it became known that Coronavirus is a highly dangerous respiratory illness, which is likely to be fatal if ventilation or high-pressure oxygen cannot be delivered to the lungs at adequate rates. I had been told that because of my restricted lung that standard ventilation procedures would not be available to me in a critical healthcare condition. I have also been told that as I deteriorate, I will need to use a CPAP machine generally throughout the day or even have a trachieostomy, due to the constrictions of my condition. However, in a critical care incident where they would normally use this equipment to bring somebody back to a standard baseline, I would not be offered these options as they would be more likely to damage me than to help me and that death would most likely occur due to this very kind of intervention.

Damian Joseph Bridgeman

Damian Joseph Bridgeman

My work covers Health, Government, Executive Coaching. I’ve worked with Google, Apple and Facebook and was recently listed as a thought leader in healthcare