A GWENT woman who lost her husband of more than 40 years to coronavirus  has spoken of her distress at not being told he had moved hospitals the day before he died.

Rhydwin Davies, who was 69 and from Ebbw Vale, is believed to have contracted covid-19 at Nevill Hall hospital in Abergavenny in November last year after being admitted for a leukaemia related illness.

He was discharged shortly after and returned home to his wife Sue, 66, without being tested for coronavirus when he left.

South Wales Argus: Rhydwin Davies had leukaemia when he caught covid-19. (Picture: Sue Davies)Rhydwin Davies had leukaemia when he caught covid-19. (Picture: Sue Davies)

“My husband was very vulnerable – he had leukaemia, was diabetic and had gangrene. I’d spent the whole pandemic being afraid to go out unless I gave coronavirus to him,” Mrs Davies told the Argus.

“He came home from Nevill Hall, and he seemed to be OK.

“We then went for his cancer treatment on Friday 13th November, and we were told they couldn’t do it because he had a high temperature.

“It was on the Sunday that he tested positive for coronavirus.

“The following day he got up to go to the bathroom and he collapsed – he was out for about 20 minutes. The ambulance arrived quickly and took him to The Grange hospital in Cwmbran."

South Wales Argus: The Grange Hospital in Cwmbran opened in full on 17th November 2020. on 17th The Grange Hospital in Cwmbran opened in full on 17th November 2020. on 17th

Mrs Davies called the hospital repeatedly over the next three days to get an update on her husband’s health – but couldn’t get through to anybody that was able to tell her what exactly was happening.

“At one point I was given the wrong number, and nobody could tell me what ward he was on. He’d gone into The Grange on the Monday and by the Thursday I still hadn’t heard anything about how he was doing.

After four days of trying, Mrs Davies finally got some news on her husband Rhydwin.

“It was later on Thursday that I got a call saying he’d been suffering with covid pneumonia and that he had been transferred to Nevill Hall the evening before (Wednesday 18th November).

“I couldn't believe it - I'd been calling The Grange hospital all through Thursday to find out what was going on and it turns out he wasn’t even there."

Mr Davies died on Thursday, November 19, 2020, at Nevill Hall hospital in Abergavenny.

South Wales Argus: Sue and Rhydwin Davies were married for almost 45 years. (Picture: Sue Davies)Sue and Rhydwin Davies were married for almost 45 years. (Picture: Sue Davies)

Mrs Davies, who is suffering with long covid herself, fears that her husband wasn’t shown any compassion or dignity by hospital staff before he died.

“I’m still struggling with it all. I just miss him so much – it would’ve been our 45th wedding anniversary in January.

“My last memory of my husband was seeing him lying on the floor unconscious in our living room – it’s horrible."

Mrs Davies is now one of hundreds of members that make up the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru group. They’re mounting pressure on the Welsh Government to issue a Wales-specific inquiry into its handling on the pandemic.

“I just don’t want anybody else to go through what I’ve been through. These are peoples lives we’re dealing with.

Mrs Davies has lodged a formal complaint to Aneurin Bevan University Health Board after her husband was moved hospitals without her being informed.

A spokeswoman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: "We fully understand how distressing it must be when relatives are unable to obtain updates on their loved ones, and we appreciate that this is never acceptable.

“Whilst our staff are managing increasing numbers of attendances at ED, having capacity to answer phones has proved extremely challenging for them, and so we have recruited Patient Liaison Officers to act as a point of contact for families to receive these updates.

"The demand for this service is extremely high due to the high levels of poorly patients coming through our doors, so we are working to recruit additional Patient Liaison Officers to manage this increased demand.

“We would like to apologise to anyone who has been caused inconvenience or upset due to the current circumstances, but please be assured that we are working hard to improve our communications with patients’ relatives.”