A FAMILY has spoken of how a mix of early intervention, an oxygen device and “hero” nurses saved their dad's life when he was hospitalised with Covid-19.

Gulam Ahmed, 69, who moved to Blackburn from India as a teenager, developed symptoms of coronavirus on around January 7 and got a test on January 9 which came back positive.

Gulam’s daughter, Masterchef finalist and pharmacist Moonira Hinglotwala and her husband Riaz, who run Riaz Pharmacy on Randal Street dropped off an oximeter so that his son, Chirag Ahmed, could keep an eye on his dad’s oxygen levels due to him suffering with diabetes and asthma.

Moonira said: “It was quite difficult because of social distancing and the lockdown but we kept in touch over the phone.

“I couldn’t be with my dad and being a pharmacist, you realise how important it is for them to go into hospital as soon as they could be deteriorating so the doctors can do something to turn it around. I think that (oximeter) is what saved him and meant he came home.”

A week later, on January 16, Chirag noticed in a reading that his father’s oxygen level was at 92 per cent, so the family called 111 and Gulam was rushed to Blackburn Royal Hospital by ambulance.

He was taken onto C4 ward and had an x-ray which showed marks on the lungs which were Covid-19 pneumonia.

While their father was being treated, the family said the “hero” nurses kept them up to date with his condition and kept them re-assured.

Chirag said: “It’s difficult once they take a member of your family, I asked if I could be there and understandably I couldn’t.

“These nurses - even though these nurses have got lots of people on these wards - they are taking time out of their very busy schedule to speak to members of the family.

“It wasn’t just false hope and reassurance, it was genuine medical descriptions of what was going on, how bad he was and what treatment was needed and what was being done. The speed at which the NHS acted was unbelievable.

“It’s not just the medical help, it’s the emotional help, the psychological help, the help with day-to-day things.

“The nurses used to have a little laugh with my dad and give him that boost.

“These nurses on the front line are not recognised enough and they are the real heroes in all of this.”

Asian Image: Gulam speaking with his grandaughter in hospital

Gulam speaking with his grandaughter in hospital

While in hospital and recovering, Gulam’s doctors told him that by coming into hospital so early on, they were able to treat him effectively and on January 31, he was taken off oxygen and monitored overnight to check he was coping.

To the family's delight, his oxygen levels remained at around 98 per cent and he was discharged and re-united with the family and continues to recover at home.

Chirag has put together a fundraiser to recognise the work the nurses are doing every day.

Chirag added: “When your family member gets home, you realise how integral these individuals are to the system.

“Doctors will come and do their rounds but it’s the nurses that are there bearing the brunt 24 hours a day.”

Moonira and her husband are now selling the oximeters at their pharmacy for £15 to help more families after recognising the impact they had in saving their dad’s life.

You can also donate to the fundraiser on the GoFundMe website by searching Help Blackburn Hospital’s Covid Wards.