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The husband of a nurse who died from Covid-19 just days after giving birth has said she felt too “helpless” to ask her employers to stop working.
Ernest Boateng’s wife Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong died in April, a week after she was admitted to hospital with the virus.
Her death came just days after her daughter, also named Mary, was delivered by emergency C-section.
Now Boateng has revealed that his 28-year-old wife felt she could not ask to stop working despite being heavily pregnant – even when she was warned by a union representative that it was not safe.
In an interview with the BBC, he said: “She was really worried to the point that any time she returned back from work she had to start undressing from the doorstep.
“As soon as she entered the house, the first thing she would do is undress, leave the uniform there and walk straight to the washroom – to the bathroom to have a shower – before she could come down to socialise with the family or even talk to us.”
Boateng said that, following his wife’s death, one of her union representatives revealed he had warned Agyapong it was not safe for her to be working and told her: “You need to get out of here.”
“But she said she couldn’t help it – she was helpless,” her husband said.
Agyapong was pregnant with the couple’s second child when she was admitted to hospital.
“There is no amount of words that really can explain how I am feeling within,” Boateng said.
“There are some times I just laugh and smile about the precious moments we had together for the past three-and-a-half years.”
The Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust told the BBC Agyapong had been on sick leave by the time the first coronavirus patient was admitted to her ward at Luton and Dunstable Hospital.
“We find it a bit difficult to comprehend because even at the time Mary was off sick some of her colleagues were even self-isolating,” Boateng said.
The trust said: “We were extremely saddened to lose Mary.
“We have carried out a full internal review of the circumstances surrounding her death and we are confident she received the best possible care and support from the trust.
“We have sent our deepest condolences to Mr Boateng, and are currently working through a number of issues he has raised.”
Describing his wife, Boateng said: “She was very kind. Her heart was pure and she was very genuine.
“We know that men are not perfect, [not[ everybody is perfect, but Mary was.”