The San Fernando General Hospital.

Rishard Khan

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Relatives of a man currently seeking treatment for a heart attack at the San Fernando General Hospital is appealing for authorities to make haste in processing his COVID-19 swab so he can finally receive the treatment he needs to save his life.

According to his daughter Chantal Mohammed, around 4.30 pm on Wednesday, he began experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. An ambulance was called around 3 am Thursday when he began experiencing shortness of breath. He arrived at the San Fernando General Hospital’s accident and emergency department around 4.30 am and around 9.30 am on Thursday a COVID-19 test sample was taken while he was waiting in a viral tent.

Mohammed said they were told that 65 per cent of his heart was damaged and the remaining 35 per cent was very weak. They were told he needed to have an immediate angiogram and stent inserted which the hospital could not perform and it would need to be done privately.

“The doctor who called my mum on Friday actually told her once you can afford he needs to go private and get an angiogram and possibly a stent. He said all the hospital can do is keep him for at least a week and give him medication,” she told Guardian Media.

But he could not be released to seek the necessary treatment due to the pending COVID-19 test result which, up to Sunday night was still pending.

“It’s now a race against time, the clock is ticking,” Mohammed told Guardian Media as she explained that on Sunday morning, her father had further complications.

“The only thing keeping us back was the COVID-19 result…on Sunday morning…he started to experience something called atrial fibrillation,” she said.

“They didn’t even give us the option of swabbing him privately,” she said.

But now, Mohammed said, the option for private treatment is no longer there as it’s too risky to transport him to a facility.

“Now the best option is to get into the cardiology ward right in San Fernando General where he could receive the monitoring and assistance that he needs. Once we get him stable, then we can make a decision on transferring him out,” she said.

But even this can’t be done until the hospital receives the COVID-19 test result. She said the family was given the prescription for medication which they have to purchase and deliver for him.

“Obviously everybody is beginning to get uneasy. My dad is beginning to get very scared,” she said, especially since the family has had to rely on friends working at the hospital for updates.

“All these things that we found out were through friends working in the hospital.”

She said the family is extremely frustrated, frightened and desperate.