Grieving COVID daughter: ‘I wish I’d done more’
A grieving daughter has shared her regret about not doing more to protect her father and prevent him from going out in public in Melbourne after he tragically died of coronavirus.
Haralambos Bakirtzidis, who immigrated here from Greece in the 1970s, died after spending 11 days in hospital with the disease.
The 80-year-old grandfather was taken off his ventilator and died shortly after in Melbourne's Footscray Hospital.
Mr Bakirtzidis' wife Niki, who is also battling coronavirus, was allowed to be by his side.
His daughter Athina told Nine News how her father believed Melbourne had beaten the virus after the first lockdown and never wore a face covering in public.
"He told me, 'I don't want to die.' I said, 'Dad you have to trust the doctors,'" Athina said.
"He never wore a mask."
She continued: "I wish I could have tied him to his chair at home. I wish I could have yelled at him.
"I wish I had done a lot more and said, 'Dad, no, if you go (out) this is how it will affect us."
Mr Bakirtzidis believed he only had flu after calling an ambulance, and didn't need to go to hospital. After taking Panadol, his fever dropped and he started to feel better.
"He felt a bit better and he thought that he was fine, that they had told him he had the flu. He misunderstood," Athina said.
"When he couldn't eat, sleep and drink, the ambulance was called a second time and he was admitted."
Nine News showed footage of Athina speaking to her father in ICU where she tried to explain to him he had developed severe pneumonia as a result of the disease.
"I do feel robbed because I still had lots of things I wanted to share with Dad," she said. "It'll take along time for our family to recover."
Premier Daniel Andrews warned yesterday that "no health system would cope" if the state's infection numbers continue to rise like they are.
"If numbers continue to grow there will be a percentage of people in that cohort that will die," he told reporters.
"No family will be untouched by this if it gets away from us."
Originally published as Grieving daughter: 'I wish I'd done more'