Intensive care nurse urges people to get vaccinated after ‘devastating’ scenes

An intensive care nurse devastated by the loss of life she has dealt with during the pandemic has made a heartfelt plea for people to get vaccinated.

ICU Staff Nurse Olivia Kane
ICU Staff Nurse Olivia Kane

Olivia Kane has only worked on ICU at Walsall Manor Hospital for 12 months, but says she has witnessed more people die in that time than she should in her whole career.

She has also noted that most of those she is now seeing are younger and unvaccinated.

The 24-year-old said: "It’s absolutely terrifying because you easily relate it to your own family.

"A lot of these patients thought they’d never get the virus, so it’s just scary how quickly things can change, and how devastating it can be for everybody.

"We see the aftermath with the families, especially when the patients are ventilated and they can’t talk.

"You see how the families react to their loved ones, with all the infusions, and how poorly they have gone, even over a couple of days, it’s terrifying.

"These are often unvaccinated patients. It’s the nastiness of the virus, people underestimate how bad it can be."

Olivia also admitted working constantly in ICU looking after extremely sick and dying patients, plus working long shifts in personal protective equipment (PPE) takes its toll.

She added: "I can speak for myself and my colleagues to say it’s mentally draining having to do this every day still, and physically draining with the PPE.

"Life might seem like it’s back to normal for other people but for us it never is, it’s constantly having to try to make these people better.

"It’s sad and it’s still very scary, especially with the new variant. It just feels like it’s never ending.

"Mentally I’ve struggled. For my age, I’ve probably seen more people die than I should in my whole career.

"At one point it was one person dying each shift, which is a lot of heartbreak to take every time you’re at work, especially when you consider our job is to try to make people better, it’s really difficult."

Olivia is fully vaccinated and has received her booster without having any reaction.

She added: "It makes me feel a lot safer, especially working in this environment, and from what I’ve seen, it’s a good thing to have.

"All the colleagues I know are happy to have it.

I wouldn’t hesitate to have it again, I would have it in a heartbeat because I have seen the effects of having Covid-19 and I would urge others to do the same."

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