Man gave wife CPR before she died from coronavirus but can’t get tested for bug

A man who gave his wife CPR as she died after contracting coronavirus was refused testing for the bug.

Loretta, 68, travelled to Los Angeles with husband Roddy, 72, but felt exhausted after landing.

Breast-cancer survivor Loretta then collapsed, and after Roddy tried to revive his wife of 45 years by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions, he called an ambulance, who rushed her to hospital.

It was there that Loretta was tested positive for coronavirus after being placed in isolation, but she died the next day.

However, Roddy would not be tested at the hospital, with doctors instead asking him to self-quarantine for 14 days because he wasn't showing any symptoms.

Roddy and his family were left both devastated and shocked after Loretta passed away.


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Son Rem told the Los Angeles Times : "What’s really frustrating is the fact that this is a man who was as close as you can get to the virus and we’re struggling with trying to get him properly tested."

Roddy and Loretta decided to travel the world after retiring together following 30 years in adverstising.

After leaving their home in Orlando, Florida on February 4, the couple flew to Thailand, the Philippines and Seoul, before returning to the US.

They flew into LA on March 8 and planned to stay at Roddy's sister house in the area before flying back home.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of the coronavirus are:

  • a dry, persistent cough
  • a fever

If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate yourself for seven days.

It is not necessary to call NHS 111 unless your symptoms get more severe.

Some patients have reported fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath and aches and pains. Sneezing is not a symptom of the coronavirus.

But it was when they arrived in LA that things took a turn for the worse when Loretta, a diabetic, didn't feel well.

Daughter Rowena said: "My dad texted me and my brother and said that he couldn’t wake up mum."

“The only thing I remember from the text was him saying my mother didn’t have a pulse," Rem added.

Loretta went into cardiac arrest four times whilst at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, before she tested positive for coronavirus.


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Her death is understood to be the first linked to the deadly virus in Los Angeles.

Testing for the coronavirus in Los Angeles has reportedly been limited due to test kit shortages.

According to the county Department of Public Health, a person must either have a fever or symptoms of respiratory illness and close contact with a confirmed case or work in healthcare; have symptoms requiring hospitalization and a history of travel or certain imaging results; or be part of a cluster of acute respiratory illness within a group living setting like a nursing home or homeless shelter to be tested.

Roddy takes medication for a cardiovascular condition and now has a low-grade fever, but his temperature is still not high enough to be considered a symptom of coronavirus, according to his family.

Rem said dad Roddy feels alone after losing his wife and now having to self-isolate.

“You’re talking about a man that just lost his wife. … We’ve never experienced anything like this. This is a pandemic that can do this to anybody.”

The family are waiting for Roddy to be released from quarantine so they can plan Loretta's funeral.

“He loved her so much and I can’t even imagine those days where he has to mourn by himself without any of us in quarantine,” Rowena said.

“This has all been such a nightmare and to add all these other things on top of it, it’s just absolute insanity. We just want him to come home.”

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