Portsmouth man who survived COVID-19 praises his “guardian angels” from Solent NHS Trust and wider NHS for outstanding care
A former music schoolteacher who was not expected to survive COVID-19 is returning home to his family, thanks to the care he received from Solent NHS Trust staff and those at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust.
Colin Garner, 61, from North End, became critically ill with COVID-19 in January 2021 and was admitted to the intensive care unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham. Whilst there in an induced coma, Colin was cared for by a team which included two physiotherapists seconded from Solent NHS Trust. Colin’s condition improved, seeing him transferred to Spinnaker Ward at St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth in April. At the same time, physiotherapists Fiona and Hannah finished their redeployment, seeing them treat Colin once again, now at St Mary’s.
Colin, who has learnt to walk again but needs oxygen, has recovered enough over the last few months to leave hospital this weekend.
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.”
Jackie Ardley, Chief Nurse, Solent NHS Trust: “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.”
John Knighton, Medical Director, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, 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.”
Colin’s future looks especially bright thanks to wife of 43 years, Dorinda, re-proposing to him whilst in hospital. Plans are now underway for the couple to renew their vows in September.