United Kingdom

Wigan mental health nurse given new car after helping Covid-19 patient, 78, who hit her car

A nurse who helped a dying pensioner with coronavirus symptoms get to the hospital after the pair had been involved in a crash has been offerd a new car.

Mental health nurse Lucy Duncan, 24, was driving her Fiat 500X home from a 12-hour shift at Wigan Infirmary last Thursday, when her car was hit by the 78-year-old's vehicle. The pensioner told Lucy he was out trying to get food, having isolated for 10 days with Covid-19 symptoms. 

Ms Duncan phoned for an ambulance and went to hospital with the unnamed pensioner, who told her he hadn't eaten for days. The Wigan healthworker stayed with the elderly man until she was told there was nothing more she could do. 

She found out later that he had died.

Businesses and celebrities have inundated Ms Duncan with praise and offers to help. Appearing on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday morning, she was presented with a new car, supplied by a local dealer while her own is out of action.

Mental health nurse Lucy Duncan, 24, was driving her Fiat 500X home from a 12-hour shift at Wigan Infirmary last Thursday, when her car was hit by the 78-year-old's vehicle

Lucy's new car arrived today, the mental health nurse has received praise from businesses, celebrities and the public for helping a dying 78-year-old get to hospital. Picture: BBC

According to Wigan Today, a local events organiser offered to pay for the parts for her own car to be repaired, and a garage, Body Shop Golborne, will perform the work for free.

Meanwhile, friends, family and neighbours have been dropping off groceries and treats at her front door as she self-isolates following her encounter with the pensioner.

She also received a personal message from boxer Anthony Joshua, who said on the programme: 'You definitely showed compassion, you definitely showed bravery, so I want to congratulate you on that.

'Stay safe, and what you guys in the NHS are doing is unbelievable. Keep it going - you guys are the unsung heroes.'

Ms Duncan told the BBC the man had been slumped over the steering wheel and was having trouble breathing when she found him after the crash last week.

Lucy Duggan, 24, had just finished a 12-hour shift, but when a 78-year-old pensioner with coronavirus symptoms crashed in to her, she got him to the hospital and stayed with him for as long as she could. Picture: BBC

Lucy appeared on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday morning, where she was presented with a new car for her attempt to save the dying pensioner. The quick-thinking nurse from Wigan now wants to try and find the pensioner's estranged son. Picture: BBC

He reportedly told her he had no family except for a son who he had not spoken to in years. 

She told BBC News: 'The man was so grateful that I stayed with him and kept squeezing my hand and pulling it close to him.'

The kindhearted nurse is now attempting to trace the man's son believed to be in Milton Keynes, who the elderly gentleman had asked her to trace before his death. 

She added: 'He was in poor shape. He was also struggling to speak and breathe. He grabbed my arms and I leaned in to him and he said "I'm sorry but I think I have coronavirus".

'He was really confused and drifting in and out of consciousness.

'When he was alert he seemed more concerned for the car damage and reassured me that he had comprehensive insurance.

'I told him I was more worried about him than the cars and that he needed an ambulance. I went to my car and luckily had a mask with me but no further personal protection equipment.

'He had gone out in his car to get some food and essentials, as he knew he would die without them. He said he didn't trust other people as there were a lot of horrible people in the world.'

Anthony Joshua, pictured in September, congratulated Lucy Duncan after she helped get a sick, elderly man to hospital after a car crash. The heavyweight boxer said she showed 'compassion and bravery'

Lucy Duncan has finished a 12-hour shift at Wigan Infirmary when a pensioner crashed into her Fiat 500X, she phoned an ambulance for the 78-year-old after he told her he thought he had Covid-19

Paramedics arrived and took the man to hospital with Lucy following in her car.

She stayed there for several hours while he underwent various tests including one which showed that his lungs were only working at 50 per cent capacity.

Following his death Lucy told the BBC: 'He asked me if I would help him get in touch with his son... it is going to be something I am going to try my hardest to do for him,' she explained.

He was 'almost surprised when I kept going back to him [in the hospital]'.

'His eyes lit up every time I went back and held his hand. It was amazing to be part of his life.' 

Lucy is now self-isolating for the next fortnight which has meant her mum, brother and his girlfriend have had to move out of the family home.

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