The family of a Covid-19 patient who was removed from a Co Donegal hospital have slammed those who took him from the facility.
Joe McCarron was removed from Letterkenny University Hospital on Tuesday by people who claimed he was being forced into the intensive care unit (ICU).
He was rushed back into the hospital on Thursday morning by ambulance where doctors are now battling to keep him alive. A spokesperson for Mr McCarron’s family has now apologised to the staff at the hospital.
Mr McCarron, from Dungloe, is on a ventilator and showing good signs of a possible recovery. The family spokesperson slammed the actions of those who encouraged Joe to leave the hospital.
“I have been asked by Una [Joe’s wife] to give you all an update on Joe," they said.
"Joe is still in a critical but stable condition. He has serious lung damage from Covid-19 and is on a ventilator but the signs are good.
A video of the removal of Mr McCarron from the hospital was shared on social media. It was carried out by people acting on behalf of the patient and claiming to act under "common law".
Doctors are seen to plead with Mr McCarron to remain in the hospital reassuring him he is in a better place. However, those taking him from the hospital say they are “rescuing” him.
The man claims they are going to get more people out of hospital, claiming "they are killing people without consent".
Security at the hospital has been heightened after Gardaí confirmed they were twice called to the facility in recent days following incidents involving anti-vaccine protesters.
Gardaí have confirmed they were called to two incidents following reports of disturbances at the medical facility.
There are also concerns that staff at the hospital are being harassed and abused by protestors in the grounds of the hospital including the car parks.
A spokesperson for the Garda Press Office said, “An Garda Síochána responded to a report of a disturbance at Letterkenny University Hospital on September 14, 2021. However, on arrival those involved were no longer present.
They also stated: “An Garda Síochána were called to Letterkenny University Hospital shortly after 3pm on 16th September 2021 in response to a disturbance involving a male visitor to the hospital. However, on arrival, the individual had left of his own accord.
“Enquiries are ongoing. An Garda Síochána has no role in the enforcement of Public Health Guidelines.”