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Tech boss, 40, saw two patients die ‘before his eyes’ as he fought coronavirus

Tech boss, 40, saw two patients die ‘before his eyes’ as he fought coronavirus

Jozef Wallis said he watched two patients die in front of him (Picture: Jozef Wallis)

A 40-year-old tech boss says he watched two other patients die in front of him while in intensive care battling coronavirus.

Jozef Wallis, from Rotherhithe in southeast London, started feeling unwell around two weeks ago, but put the achy joints and light-headedness down to ‘the wear and tear of a busy life’. He then developed ‘uncontrollable shivers’ up and down his body which led to a ‘significant fever’.

The father-of-two initially refused to ring 111 for fear of ‘clogging up the NHS system’. But after speaking to a private doctor he was rushed to St Thomas’ Hospital where he was diagnosed with Covid-19 and placed in intensive care.

He told MailOnline: ‘Two patients on my ward died before my eyes. One old man had to have assisted breathing and then I didn’t see him again. A nurse told me he had died. Another man was rushed into intensive care but he didn’t make it.

Jozef Wallis

Mr Wallis battled the illness at home for a week as he didn’t want to ‘clog up the NHS’ (Picture: Jozef Wallis)

‘He was old and had other medical conditions but he was someone’s grandad, someone’s dad, someone’s husband. He will be missed.’

Mr Wallis, whose business faces financial ruin due to the
outbreak, has urged people to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus.

He added: ‘We’ve all got to take this more seriously. You can’t have a party and you can’t meet up with friends. Otherwise more people will die.’

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Jozef Wallis

Mr Wallis said he put the initial aches and light-headedness down to a busy lifestyle (Picture: Jozef Wallis)

Jozef Wallis

He praised the ‘utterly heroic’ hospital staff who helped look after him (Picture: Jozef Wallis)

After carrying out some online research he became ‘convinced’ he had coronavirus symptoms and after eight days decided to contact a private doctor service who recommended through a video conference that he call an ambulance.

He was transferred to St Thomas’, where Britain’s first
Covid-19 patients were taken, and moved to a coronavirus ward after testing
positive for the illness.

The tech boss said he knew the gravity of the situation, but never thought he would die. But two other patients ‘died before my eyes’, he added.

Mr Wallis was discharged on Monday night after spending five days in hospital and is now in isolation at home with wife Emma and daughters Tatiana, eight, and six-year-old Anastasia. He said his wife cared for him at home while he quarantined himself from the rest of the family.

He was quick to praise the ‘utterly heroic’ hospital staff who helped look after him, but said the aftercare, especially around advice about how long to self-isolate for, had been ‘a bit muddled’.

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