Coronavirus: Woman, 23, asked to make life decisions on phone

Chloe Ball-HopkinsImage copyright OBS Cinematography
Image caption Chloe Ball-Hopkins said she knew she could change her Advance Care Plan at any time

A woman said she had to decide during a phone call what would happen to her in hospital “if her life was on the line”.

Chloe Ball-Hopkins, 23, who has muscular dystrophy, was asked to make a Covid-19-specific care plan – and if she wanted a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order on her file.

She said it was “sobering” but felt “weirdly grateful” her mother “wouldn’t have to wonder what I’d wanted”.

“I wanted a chance to fight it as I’m not done with life yet,” she added.

Ms Ball-Hopkins, from Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire was talking to her respiratory nurse when she was asked what should be done “in case anything happens to you”.

A DNR orders sit on a patient’s medical file and means medical staff will not attempt to bring the patient back to life if they stop breathing or their heart stops.

The decision to use one is ultimately a doctor’s, but guidelines state medical staff have a duty to discuss it with relatives wherever possible.

“I knew at some point I’d have this conversation considering how ill I was last year… but it’s not the sort of conversation you’d want to have over the phone.

“[The nurse asked] if I contracted Covid-19… whether I wanted to be hospitalised and given a chance to fight it – or just kind of accept it.

“All my answers were that I wanted a chance to fight it as I’m not done with life yet.

“I also put down that if the doctors thought at any point these things wouldn’t give me my life back – I didn’t want them to make the effort.

“I surprised myself by saying that.”

She added she then had to call her family and partner to explain “these big decisions”.

“That was the hardest part trying to tell them as a 23 year old I’d made a decision as to what would happen to me if my life was on the line.

“It’s very sobering.

“There are a lot of people that don’t have that opportunity and I feel quite weirdly grateful I’d been able to make this choice.”

Back to: Home Gloucestershire News

You may also like...