Support worker, 40, suffers a cardiac arrest and dies of coronavirus

Support worker, 40, suffers a cardiac arrest and dies of coronavirus 18 days after being intubated on his daughter’s fifth birthday

  • Healthcare support worker Julias Sana, 40, died of coronavirus on Sunday
  • He was intubated on his daughter’s fifth birthday – 18 days before his death 
  • Mr Sana’s wife Maricar, their son, 11, and daughter are grieving his loss
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A father-of-two has died of coronavirus three weeks after he was intubated on the same day his daughter turned five. 

Healthcare support worker Julias Sana, 40, suffered from a fever after working at a private hospital that cared for people with neurodegenerative diseases in Newport, South Wales.

He died on Sunday after suffering a cardiac arrest while on ventilation at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.

His sister, Jovelyn Villareal, who moved to the UK with him from the Philippines around 15 years ago, dropped her brother at the hospital on May 7. He wasn’t sleeping well and had a temperature of 39C.

Healthcare support worker Julias Sana, 40, suffered from a fever after working at a private hospital that cared for people with neurodegenerative diseases in Newport, South Wales

‘I called 111 and they said they would call back but didn’t,’ she said. ‘I called back five hours later and they said they would call an ambulance, but because he was alert he was not a priority, which is understandable.

‘So me and my husband brought him to the hospital. The last thing we did was pray together, then I left him in the hospital because they wouldn’t let us in.’

Mr Sana had worked as an agency healthcare worker for four years before he was given a permanent role last August.  

A day after bringing him to hospital, Ms Villareal said her brother told her over the phone that he had been put on oxygen and antibiotics.

Just 18 days after being put on ventilation Mr Sana died, leaving behind his wife Maricar, their son, 11, and five-year-old daughter (pictured together last Christmas)

He died on Sunday after suffering a cardiac arrest while on ventilation at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport 

The number of COVID-19 deaths recorded in the UK has spiked today, following a pattern of lower numbers being recorded on Sundays and Mondays. The general trend, however, continues to move downward from a peak on April 8

But later that afternoon she was told by doctors he had deteriorated and was on a ventilator.

She said: ‘When he was intubated it was his daughter’s fifth birthday. Imagine how she will remember it. It was so awful.’

Just 18 days later Mr Sana died, leaving behind his wife Maricar, their son, 11, and five-year-old daughter.

And the family only had a chance to say their goodbyes over FaceTime after Mr Sana had passed away. 

Ms Villareal said: ‘There was no goodbye. We had hoped every day. He was so healthy and young and never smoked, so I never would have thought he would end up like this.

It was Mr Sana’s five-year-old daughter’s birthday on the day he was put on a ventilator (pictured together)

His sister, Jovelyn Villareal, who moved to the UK with him from the Philippines around 15 years ago, dropped her brother (pictured) at the hospital on May 7

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus is down overall but in many parts of the country the levels appear to have hit a plateau

‘After he died they allowed us to say goodbye to him over Facetime, for the last time. His daughter says every day “I miss my dad”.’

She added: ‘He didn’t speak much, but he always smiled. He’d never argue, he was so good and everybody loved him.

‘He was a simple man, he was content. He loved his job. He said it was rewarding when you are appreciated by the patient and other staff.’

His sister praised staff at the Royal Gwent for their efforts treating her brother, as well as the Filipino community in Newport which she said had rallied around the family.

Mr Sana’s close friend, Belle Alcid, has now launched a fundraising page that has already raised £1,884 for his family.  

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