An off-duty nurse rushed to help an elderly man who crashed into her car after going more than a week without food in self-isolation.

Lucy Duncan, 24 was driving home from a 12 hour shift at the Wigan Infirmary, Greater Manchester, when another vehicle bumped into hers.

After she pulled over, a frightened pensioner opened his door and grabbed her arm in desperation before telling her he feared he had coronavirus.

The man, 73, told Lucy he had not been able to eat for ‘seven to ten days’ while in isolation because he had no friends or family to do his shopping for him.

She told the Manchester Evening News: ‘I knocked on the window he opened the door.

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‘He reached out to grab hold of my arm. It was just surreal, it was not what I expected at all.’

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She added: ‘He said he hadn’t left the house for seven to 10 days, hadn’t eaten or had a drink because he has not been able to get out of the house.

‘He said he hasn’t got any family or friends or anyone who can get him anything so he got in the car to get some essentials.

‘It was awful to see someone so poorly. He had beads of sweat dripping down his face. He was struggling to take a breath.’

Lucy, a mental health nurse on the urgent response team, said the man was ’drifting in and out of consciousness’ when she called 999.

The 24-year-old assisted paramedics then drove to A&E where she waited for the patient for five hours.

She said: ‘I stayed with him to be a friend, but I am a nurse, so can help with little things too. I helped walk him to the ambulance and to make sure the paramedics were not putting themselves at risk that was unnecessary.

‘I followed them to the hospital in my car. I gave him my contact number when I left just if he needed anything while he was in hospital.

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‘I just wanted to make sure he was ok. I was concerned he was going to die and I just didn’t want him to die on his own with nobody there, he was really poorly.’

Lucy said she hopes to have a coffee with the man if he recovers. She is in self-isolation away from her family and is waiting to her from the hospital if he tests positive for covid-19.

Her story was shared widely on social media after she wrote about it on Facebook. It comes after thousands leaned out of their windows and doors on Thursday to clap their hands for NHS workers, who are risking their lives daily on the coronavirus frontline.

Professor Craig Harris, accountable officer for NHS Wigan Borough CCG said: ‘To have worked a long shift on the frontline, cope with being in a car accident and then find the humanity, love and generosity to help this gentleman in the way she did is simple amazing.

‘A lot of our NHS staff will go above and beyond the call of duty in the coming weeks, and Lucy has really set the bar high for all of us. I applaud Lucy and thank her.’

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