Portsmouth man Colin Garner who was not expected to survive Covid-19 returns home from hospital
A FORMER music schoolteacher from Portsmouth who was not expected to survive Covid-19 has finally returned home after five months in hospital – and has thanked ‘guardian angel’ NHS staff.
Colin Garner, from North End, became critically ill with coronavirus in January this year and was admitted to the intensive care unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham where he was placed under an induced coma.
Luckily Colin’s condition improved and he was transferred to St Mary’s Community Health Campus in April.
And today the 61-year-old, who learnt to walk again but still needs oxygen, recovered enough for him to leave hospital for good.
Colin said: ‘It feels absolutely brilliant to be going home, I never thought the day would come. I didn’t think I would ever walk again so I’m over the moon. Everyone at the Queen Alexandra and St Mary’s have been guardian angels – every step of the way they’ve been there for me, encouraging me.
‘I’m most looking forward to holding my wife, sitting with my wife, just meeting my friends and family again, being able to walk out in the garden, things like that.
‘It hits you that Covid-19 is horrible, I think they nearly lost me a couple of times with pneumonia. I’m so grateful for the care I’ve received, I’ve made it through.’
John Knighton, medical director of Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, which runs QA and St Mary’s, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to hear that Mr Garner has recovered and is now able to head home after what must have been an incredibly worrying time for his family. This is a great example of partnership working across the local system and in what has been a really challenging period. We wish Mr Garner and his family all the very best, and for his continued recovery.’
While at QA Colin was cared for by a team which included two physiotherapists seconded from Solent NHS Trust.
When he moved to St Mary’s physiotherapists Fiona and Hannah finished their redeployment, meaning they were able to treat him again there.
Chief nurse at Solent, Jackie Ardley, added: ‘We are delighted that Colin is returning home to his loved ones, this is the best outcome we could have wished for. His story is one which shows the very best of NHS trusts working hand in hand to deliver high quality care to someone suffering from a devastating disease during unprecedented times.
‘We are particularly proud of how our teams at St Mary’s, including nursing, rehabilitation and reablement, home oxygen and discharge hub colleagues, have worked seamlessly to ensure Colin’s long-term recovery and quality of life at home is the best it can be. We wish him the very best for the future.’
Colin’s wife of 43 years, Dorinda, re-proposed to him whilst in hospital. Plans are now being made for the couple to renew their vows in September.