"Miracle,yes. Absolutely no other word for it"
These are the words used by respiratory consultant physician, Yousef Vapra, as his face lit up recalling how a man whose life was in peril for so long walked out of hospital without needing oxygen.
The consultant also recalled how Andy Corbett refused to use a wheelchair and the extraordinary recovery of Andy clearly illustrates how every sacrifice made in the hospital and in the wider community to battle Covid-19 was worth it all.
“All of the staff were so happy to see that man walk out of the hospital. The joy was unbound. It was amazing to see him go home,” said a beaming Doctor Vapra as he recalled the extraordinary recovery of the patient.
“He had such a will to fight it. He was fighting for every breath, at times we thought he would not make it. To see a person who fifteen days back was nearly dying, being able to walk out of the hospital.
"He did not even want a wheelchair, he wanted to run home. It was the greatest feeling I have had to see a patient like this go from the jaws of death to go out to home in very good form, you cannot explain that feeling, it was fantastic,” added Doctor Vapra.
An enormous sense of pride was evident as the hospital consultant outlined his admiration for the entire team at the hospital who were responsible for the care of that patient and all the others who needed their attention since the country was overtaken by the coronavirus crisis.
“I cannot thank the ICU people enough. One of the features of improving this patient was the diligence of the staff who were responsible for proning the patient, it takes seven staff members to turn the patient around and then seven people to turn him back again after sixteen hours. This proning procedure was in addition to the other care elements he needed. It takes a lot of effort, all the team were privileged to look after him right from the day one until he was discharged,” he said .
“His whole family were very appreciative of our efforts. He or his family did not even have to thank us. We could see it on their faces. The look on his face said everything and meant much much more than words. We did not need to hear the words,” said the consultant physician.
Tracey Brophy, a member of the respiratory team said the day of the discharge of that particular patient will be remembered by all involved.
“It was just amazing to see this man go home, amazing. That is what we do it for,” said Tracey. There were moments of great sadness and moments of great joy experienced by the staff during the crisis.
“Unfortunately one gentleman passed away and it was a very difficult time for his family and for all the team,” said Yousef Vapra.
He said some Covid patients needed oxygen in the hospital and the vast majority of the people seen at the Covid assessment unit were sent home and given instruction to stay isolated.
“Even though they tested positive they were able to go home. We had a very good response from patients, they listened to us, they honoured our instructions and we had a very good result with the Covid,” said Doctor Vapra.