Blue lips and black skin: Did a standard 111 question help cause Olufemi Akinnola’s death from Covid-19?
When the scale of the coronavirus pandemic became clear in March, people with symptoms were advised to contact NHS 111. Olufemi did so. But his family fear he was given the wrong advice
Curled up in the foetal position in the passenger seat of his ex-girlfriend’s car, weeping uncontrollably, Lobby Akinnola didn’t want the journey to ever end, but he also wanted to get there – now. What was waiting for him at the end of the two-hour drive from Lobby’s London flatshare to his family home in Leamington Spa was unimaginably harrowing: his beloved dad, Olufemi Akinnola, lying dead on the living room floor. Lobby’s mum, Atinuke, had found him that morning, 26 April. The family had thought he was recovering from Covid-19, but they had been wrong. The paramedics had come, but there was nothing they could do, and now the family was waiting with Femi for Lobby to arrive from London, before they called the funeral home. Lobby was scared to go, but he had to be there. He needed to say goodbye to his dad.