Nurse breaks down in tears in ITV's 2020: The Story Of Us

Emotional moment nurse breaks down in tears following a patient’s death from COVID-19 as she admits she ‘can’t get the look of his family’s faces out of her head’ in 2020: The Story Of Us

  • Dental nurse Emma Jones switched from her usual role to help the Covid effort
  • She appears in ITV’s 2020: The Story Of Us, which charts life in NHS hospitals
  • She speaks about the death of a patient in the first six months of the Covid crisis

The emotional moment a nurse breaks down in tears following a patient’s death from COVID-19 as she admits she ‘can’t get the look of his family’s faces out of her head’ has been caught on camera for a new documentary about the pandemic.

British dental nurse Emma Jones switched from her usual role in oral surgery to help the Covid effort, and appears in ITV’s 2020: The Story Of Us, which charts life in NHS hospitals in London and Lancashire in the first six months of the crisis.

She speaks about the death of a patient from coronavirus, confessing that she can’t stop seeing the faces of the man’s family after seeing he’d passed away. 

The mother also tells of how her young daughter saw her return home crying most nights, and that the ICU became her ‘second home’.

It comes as an intensive care doctor, Professor Hugh Montgomery, a consultant at University College Hospital in London, who features in the film, says he won’t be watching it because he would find it too ‘upsetting’. 

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The emotional moment a nurse (pictured) breaks down in tears following a patient’s death from COVID-19 as she admits she ‘can’t get the look of his family’s faces out of her head’ has been caught on camera for a new documentary about the pandemic

British dental nurse Emma Jones (pictured) switched from her usual role in oral surgery to help the Covid effort, and appears in ITV’s 2020: The Story Of Us, which charts life in NHS hospitals in London and Lancashire in the first six months of the crisis

Emma reveals she is haunted by seeing the wife and two young sons of a patient come to say goodbye. 

Having lost her own mother 12 years ago, also on an ICU ward, she admits she knew what they were having to going through.

She says: ‘We lost a patient last night and I think this one has hit me the hardest out of all of them. 

‘His wife and two young sons were able to come onto the unit and be with him and I just can’t get the look of their faces out of my head. They looked so scared. 

‘They looked so scared, because they knew, they knew what was coming. And they looked lost and they looked frightened and I recognise that feeling. 

Emma (pictured) speaks about the death of a patient from coronavirus, confessing that she can’t stop seeing the faces of the man’s family after seeing he’d passed away

‘I recognise that face. I lost my mum twelve years ago. She was in ICU and I was there with her,’ she recalls.

‘I remember just looking at the monitors and seeing them jumping and then nothing. So cruel to not have people with their loved ones in the way I was with her.’ 

Emma also describes the love that goes into cleaning a patient after they have died, saying: ‘It does feel humbling. It’s the last thing you can do for somebody, and we all hope that somebody would do it right for our loved ones.’

But the dental nurse, who says she had to ‘jump in at the deep end’, admits that her new role is ‘very, very challenging’. 

Emma’s face after a long shift marked by PPE

‘I’ve just come off of a night shift. It feels like it’s been a lifetime since I’ve been over in dental. I think this might be my fifth week now in ICU. It’s kind of become my normality really. My second home,’ she confesses.

‘I’m finding my new role very, very challenging, but to be part of this NHS system and to be a nurse, to be a carer, made me feel like I was in the right place and doing the right thing.’

She admits that she found it hard to go home and wind down, revealing that when the second wave came around, her daughter even asked her not to join the effort. 

She says: ‘With the second wave coming, they’re putting plans in place to redeploy staff again back over to ICU. 

‘I spoke to my children and asked them how they felt about me going back and my youngest daughter said to me, she wasn’t sure if she wanted me to go back. 

‘She said most nights I’d come home crying and I have a lot more soul searching to do this time round, whether it’s the right thing for them as well,’ the mother, who is still fighting the virus in ICU units around the country, admits. 

It comes as an intensive care doctor, Professor Hugh Montgomery, a consultant at University College Hospital in London, who features in the film, says he won’t be watching it because he would find it too ‘upsetting’. 

Devastatingly, the doctor also lost his 17-year-old son Oscar in May, when he drowned snorkelling in Portland Bill, Dorset, after restrictions had been eased to allow day trips.  

In an emotional appearance on This Morning today, Professor Montgomery, 58, teared up as he admitted he won’t be watching the documentary because his heartbreaking loss means it ‘strikes him even more’.  

Professor Hugh Montgomery, a consultant at University College Hospital in London, gave an emotional interview on ITV’s This Morning today 

‘No, I don’t think I will [watch it]’, he said. ‘Even thinking about it is upsetting me, even now. No I won’t be watching it. I think it was a special piece of work.  

‘It’s public knowledge that my 17-year-old son died in May, so it’s been a very difficult year for me. But I guess 120,000 other people have lost lives and their families have also struggled so I’m not alone in this. 

‘I imagine the families who have lost loved ones will not be watching either. But for those personal reasons it strikes even more.’ 

The doctor claimed in December last year that the public were to blame for the record number of Covid cases in Britain at the time, and have ‘blood on their hands’ if they don’t wear masks. 

The doctor (pictured) claimed in December last year that the public were to blame for the record number of Covid cases in Britain at the time, and have ‘blood on their hands’ if they don’t wear masks 

He said he was ‘angry’ with people for ‘behaving badly’ and failing to follow the rules as deaths approached 1,000 per day, with the number now reaching 126K in total. 

Speaking today the professor said: ‘We have to remember everyone has had a dreadful time during this pandemic. 

‘People have lost their jobs, people have been trying to juggle jobs with homeschooling, people have been in social isolation, that makes this all the harder. 

‘It’s million extra person hours a week we’ve been doing, running the equivalent of an 126 extra intensive care units with fewer staff in the second wave. That has been absolute hammering.’ 

He went on: ‘Like everyone else we go home to nobody and there is no opportunity to defuse in the way we otherwise would, go down the pub or be able to talk socially. That inability to vent I have certainly found very difficult, I know others have too.’  

Montgomery, 58, teared up as he admitted he won’t be watching the documentary, which airs on ITV this evening, because his heartbreaking loss means it ‘strikes him even more’

The doctor is on the council of the Intensive Care Society (ICS), a multidisciplinary charity with more than 3,000 members, and is fronting their campaign to provide staff with psychological support.  

‘The first thing people can do to help us is get vaccinated’, he said, ‘Because if you do then you won’t end up on our intensive care unit. 

‘We do have a fundraising campaign the Intensive Care Society is a charity, we try to we’re trying to support them with psychological help.’ 

Professor Montgomery appeared with Dr Shondipon Laha, an Intensive Care Consultant at Lancashire’s Royal Preston Hospital, who spoke of the difficulties he has had during the pandemic. 

Devastatingly, the doctor (pictured left) also lost his 17-year-old son Oscar in May and revealed how painful it is to recall the events of last year 

Dr Shondipon Laha, an Intensive Care Consultant at Lancashire’s Royal Preston Hospital, spoke of the difficulties he has had during the pandemic

‘It’s been stressful for pretty much everyone working there, and those that have been coming in and helping to work,’ he said.

‘We’ve seen a lot of things happen and we’ve had to make sure patients are cared for safely but to do that, staff have had to stretch themselves and have had to do things in unfamiliar environments and unfamiliar kits and it’s been incredibly stressful in those situations where you feel you’re losing control are the things that stick with you.’ 

‘The conversations you have with families over the phone, which I’ve never done prior to the pandemic, those things really affect you. 

‘You feel you haven’t done your job properly when you do that, a lot of guilt comes with it and you struggle with the consequences.’

2020: The Story Of Us airs on ITV tonight at 9pm 

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