The dead SUMMA doctor whose daughter says he worked without protection and for who “it took eight days before he could take a test.”
Marta Pérez is a 25-year-old medical student. Her father, a doctor, has died of the coronavirus.
The young woman has now written a heart-breaking letter teling of the loss of her father, which was posted on the union website, in which she writes of “the nightmare” that they have lived at home since her father was first diagnosed.
She asks why politicians have had greater access to coronavirus tests than health workers who, on the front line of the fight against the virus, risk their lives every day.
The nightmare started on Saturday, March 15. In the morning, 61 year old Luis Pérez went to work at the medical centre, and at night he had a twelve-hour shift with the SUMMA emergency service.
He was not relaxing or visiting relatives. He was doubling up his shofts, killing himself in order that he might save other people,” she says.
The young woman says that her father was aware of the danger he faced, he that there were certain risks. “He became infected during the early stages of the virus spread but we didn’t find out until 8 or 9 days later when he was finally able to take a test,” she recalls.
“Politicians say that they are essential and they should be tested quickly, but they let the medical staff take ‘pot luck”.
The week was horrible. He went into isolation as soon as he started with a cough and a fever, but little by little more symptoms began to appear. We could only contact him by video calls and it was heart-breaking to see his deterioration. It was at that point that we referred him for hospitalisation at which point he was quickly moved into ICU.
She says that her father came to feel guilty for having been infected, despite his total dedication: “Well, I have done something wrong to get infected. I have failed. I cannot help my patients any longer and I have risked my family”. She said that she couldn’t believe that after working hard as a doctor for over 30 years he felt disappointed.
“Dad, you did nothing wrong,” Marta wrote her in her letter. “It was the bad guys, those who didn’t give you the protection material that you needed, those who chose to ignore you as a doctor in daily contact with the virus, while they were managing to be tested twice, and you were still waiting in bed for yours,” she adds.
The situation worsened and it was his own wife (a gynaecologist by profession) and her daughter, who carried out an examination, during which they heard “small crackles in the lung base.”
“During the next call I made he told me he was drowning and he wrote me his farewell asking me to be good to those family members who had not been able to bewith him,” she recalls.
Twelve days after being diagnosed, and despite his struggle, he passed away. “He left in silence, with only good words for everybody, as he always was,” says his daughter. “We will not be able to watch over you father but I promise that I will be your voice and the voice of all those who have left with you,” she adds.
In addition, Marta’s brother, also a doctor, added his own question to the letter: “If they had tested him before, and not after nine days of fever, and had given him antibiotic treatment, would I be writing this?”
“Your wife, your children and your heart’s daughter loves you,” she says goodbye.