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Covid denier told 'he'll die in an hour' as she tries to take OAP from hospital

A maskless conspiracy theorist was forcibly removed from a hospital after trying to take a dying elderly Covid patient home against the doctor’s orders.

Tobe Hayden Leigh shouted abuse as he was dragged out of the acute respiratory care unit at East Surrey Hospital in Redhil on Thursday January 21st.

The intruder and two others barged into the ward to collect a patient who apparently wanted to leave and insisted he be discharged, despite the doctor warning he could ‘drop dead at any minute’.

Leigh claimed he was the patient’s ‘McKenzie friend’ – an untrained legal helper – and asked for the man to be taken off oxygen.

The doctor said he would die in ‘half an hour’ without his oxygen tube, but a woman accompanying Leigh tried to take the patient from his bed and said she would not leave without him.

At one point the patient, who was seen coughing and struggling for breath throughout the 20 minute confrontation, removed his oxygen tube and asked to go home, but was told by doctors he would not survive the journey.

Leigh refused to leave and repeatedly claimed that he was exempt from wearing a mask when told by doctors he was putting his life and the lives of others at risk.

In a video viewed thousands of times, the Covid denier is heard asking staff whether the virus was even ‘proven to exist’ despite being on a ward where many were fighting the deadly bug.

Leigh accuses the hospital of ‘lying’ about the patient’s condition and keeping his family in the dark.

The doctor responds: ‘My main concern is his safety and at the moment you are making him unsafe. He’s taken his oxygen off, he’s going to die if we don’t put it back on.’

The patient replies: ‘No, I’m not.’

The doctor refuses to discuss the matter further until the oxygen pipe is put back in.

Later on in the footage, the medic points at the patient’s oxygen levels on a monitor and says: ‘Seventy-three per cent. He’s at risk of dropping dead at any minute.’

The seriously ill man again says he wants to go home but is told: ‘You will die.’

Leigh and the others continue to challenge the doctor but he stands firm and insists the patient will not survive without a constant supply of oxygen.

The doctor says: ‘He has coronavirus pneumonia affecting both of his lungs. He’s on steroids called dexamethasone. He’s on antibiotics to treat concurrent bacterial infections.’

Leigh says his treatment should be replaced with vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc but is told: ‘None of those are proven treatments for coronavirus.’

The doctor refuses to engage with further conspiracy theories as security guards arrive to remove the Covid deniers.

As Leigh is frogmarched out he shouts ‘get off me, ya p****’ and threatens to have the men prosecuted for assault.

Surrey Police said two fines were issued over the incident and that further enquiries were ongoing.

A spokeswoman said: ‘Officers were called by East Surrey Hospital on Saturday, January 23, reporting concerning social media posts which included videos and abusive comments towards hospital staff made over the course of two days which appeared to be escalating.

‘On investigation, this related to an earlier incident where police were called to the hospital on Thursday, January 21, around 1.55pm following reports that a number of people had gained access to the critical care ward to visit a family member and were not wearing masks.

‘They were reported to be abusive towards hospital staff when they were asked to comply with the instruction to wear a face covering. They also refused to leave when asked to do so. 

‘Officers issued fines to two individuals involved for breaching Covid restrictions and issued a breach of the peace warning which resulted in the group leaving the location.

‘An investigation is under way into the videos and comments which are being posted on social media, and enquiries remain ongoing.’

East Surrey Chief Inspector Kimball Edey said the incident ‘defies belief and is simply reprehensible’.

‘When we attended the hospital last week, it transpired that a number of people visiting a patient were not wearing face masks, and fines were issued to two of them,’ she said.

‘We have continued to maintain our 4Es approach towards any breaches of current covid regulations – explaining, encouraging and educating and only enforcing when we are faced with a flagrant breach of the rules as a last resort – since the start of the first lockdown.

‘Unfortunately, there is a small minority of people who do not understand or refuse to appreciate the seriousness of the impact of the pandemic. 

‘To gain access to a critical care ward without taking the proper precautions not only puts themselves at risk, but also the lives of other people and the hospital staff who are trying to care for seriously ill patients, at risk as well.

‘To then become abusive and threatening towards the staff who are trying to treat these vulnerable patients under extremely challenging conditions defies belief and is simply reprehensible.

‘Thankfully, the vast majority of Surrey residents are complying with the lockdown regulations, and we thank them for that, but we will not hesitate to take action when we are faced with such an extreme and blatant disregard for these rules.’

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