When Juan Antonio’s elderly father was rushed into a hospital near Madrid, gravely ill with novel coronavirus, he refused to leave him but spent 34 days at his bedside until he was better.
At the weekend, after more than a month together in the same room, they walked out triumphantly after the father’s release, the hospital said on Wednesday.
When he was taken in, “the doctors said he was critically ill and had only three or four hours left,” a Coslada hospital spokeswoman told AFP.
“In such cases, we allow a close relative to accompany the patient.”
But Regino Martinez, who is in his mid 70s, responded well to the treatment and started to improve.
“His son stayed near him on the first night and again on the second,” she said.
Then the son himself was forbidden to leave the room after they suspected he too had become infected. But when he was given the all-clear and told he could leave, he decided to stay.
“This time has allowed us to get to know each other much better,” Juan Antonio told Cadena Ser radio.
Allowing the son to stay was “something of an exception, given the circumstances”, the hospital spokeswoman said, indicating it could not allow everyone to stay at the side of a sick loved one.
“If a patient is doing very badly and we see that they only have a few days left or are deteriorating, we let well-protected family members spend 15 minutes in the room, with a psychologist at their side at all times.”
After the United States and Italy, Spain has suffered one of the world’s most deadly outbreaks of the virus, losing 24,275 lives since the epidemic took hold.
But the number of people who have recovered from the virus rose by 6,399 over the past 24 hours in what was a record daily high, health ministry figures showed on Wednesday, raising the overall number to 108,947