Auckland man who died at home with COVID-19 told Healthline he 'wanted to go to hospital' after coughing up blood - daughter

The daughter of a man who was COVID positive and died at home say the system "failed" their family and "needs to change" to ensure no one else goes through what her father endured. 

She says her father was coughing up blood, had pain in his feet and hands and called Healthline - but was told it was "just normal covid symptoms" 

The Deputy Prime Minister says "by and large the system is working well", but the family says that's not the case. 

Among the colourful flower beds he cared for so much, Newshub spoke to the daughter of a Glen Eden man who died at home with COVID-19.

"His feet were burning, his hands were burning, he was coughing and he had said I think I'm coughing up blood and he had a lot of lethargy," she said.

"He was really tired. The last four or five days, he was just in bed."

Her father was an Imam at a mosque; a man who loved his seven children and lived his life for others. She says her dad called Healthline, but was "brushed off". 

"My brother was doing CPR and there was just blood gushing out, and no one took him seriously."

"He said to Healthline, 'I want to go to hospital, should I go to hospital?' and was told 'we can call you an ambulance if you want, but these are normal COVID symptoms'."

"As a family, we feel devastated because he asked for help, he wanted to be helped."

The Ministry of Health says there are 30 registered health professionals at Healthline, but the man's daughter questions the advice given. 

"Anyone, if you say 'I'm coughing up blood', should respond and say 'you need to go to hospital - this is not normal'."

She says the family spoke to their GP, who said there was nothing they could do for the cough and all they can do is prescribe lozenges.

"And they apologised and said 'we really want to help but there is no guidelines in place for us to be able to offer any further support'," she said.

"When your GP says to you that there is no guideline for me and I'm really sorry, you know that this is a crisis."

The Director of Public Health said on Friday she feels for families grieving loved ones, and urged people to take action if they deteriorate. 

"Please don't leave it to chance that you'll improve. Please reach out as soon as possible or ask someone to do so on your behalf," said Dr Caroline McElnay.

The daughter says that comment is a "slap in the face, because we reached out so many times".

The Deputy Prime Minister did not accept the home isolation programme was overwhelmed. 

"By and large, I believe the system is working well, but clearly there are some examples where we do need to tweak the system," Grant Robertson said.

But the man's daughter says the system needs more than just some tweaks. 

"It needs to change, things need to get better and the Government needs to listen to us as a people. We've had so many individuals raising issues about this COVID response but nothing has happened. The Government had over a year to prepare for this."

One of her biggest concerns is the disjointed COVID-19 response system. 

"They should all be working together and there should be something linking all these organisations together, but there isn't at the moment and I think that's one of our biggest failures in our whole response."

Her parting wish for her dad - that no one else will experience what they have and that the mistakes made will be a catalyst for urgent change. 

Her mother and grandmother also contracted the virus and are currently receiving treatment at Auckland Hospital.

Another of the Imam's daughters and a son tested positive, but have made a full recovery and have now left isolation.