'Just go and get it': Unjabbed Covid patient’s message as beds begin to fill up

More than 350 people are in hospital with Covid-19 across the region, new figures show.

Umar Ahmed. Photo: BBC/Wolverhampton NHS Trust.
Umar Ahmed. Photo: BBC/Wolverhampton NHS Trust.

Statistics released by the NHS showed 354 beds were taken up by coronavirus patients in the Black Country, Staffordshire and Birmingham, as of July 20.

It comes as health chiefs and patients seriously ill with the virus have urged more people to get the vaccine.

The data shows 178 patients are currently staying in hospital at the University of Birmingham NHS Trust. That was the highest number in the region. Elsewhere, 46 patients where staying at the University Hospital North Midlands NHS Trust, which runs Stafford Hospital.

In the Black Country, the highest number was at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, where 65 patients are staying. A total of 25 patients are staying at Wolverhampton NHS Trust, while 23 are staying at Dudley NHS Trust and 17 are staying at Walsall NHS Trust.

Among those in hospital is Umar Ahmed, 31, from Perton, who is seriously ill with Covid-19 at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton. Speaking with the help of a ventilator, he has been urging more young people to take up the vaccine.

“I was breathing on my own three days ago, now I am needing this help and that help,” he said.

“It is the most frightening thing I have probably ever experienced in my life.”

Asked about his decision not to have a vaccine before he became ill, he said: “Right now, if you are healthy, and you can, and you have been offered the vaccine, just go and get it, because it is not worth this, it is not worth losing time with your loved ones.

“It is not worth not seeing your family for weeks on end. If two jabs can prevent that then it is more than worth it.”

Meanwhile, health chiefs in Walsall said vaccination take-up was going well, but added they were some who have not received any jabs so far.

Councillor Stephen Craddock, chairman of Walsall Council’s health and wellbeing board, said: “We’ve had an excellent uptake in Walsall but there are still substantial numbers who haven’t taken the opportunity to get their jab. That is particularly the case with the under 30s.

“The centre of the Saddlers Centre is open and you can walk in there. Most of the cases presented in A&E are in younger people and it is putting a huge strain on resources, and some elective surgery is being deferred to cope with demand.

“The virus hasn’t gone away and the basic rules of hands, face and space and fresh air are your best defence against the virus.”

David Loughton, chief executive of Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and interim chief of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, had previously said he had received some criticism for allowing TV cameras into New Cross Hospital earlier this week to film Mr Ahmed.

He said: “He was interviewed when he was on concentrated oxygen when he wasn’t in a great way. He actually said he wished he had been vaccinated.

“So although I took criticism, it did send a really powerful message and the vast majority of people in hospital are under 50 years of age now.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News