A man, who has been battling Covid-related pneumonia since December 2020, has finally come off oxygen support. He has been described as ‘London’s sickest ever’ Covid patient, having spent more than 300 days in the hospital.
Learning To Walk & Talk Again
Andrew Watts, 40, came down with pneumonia on Christmas Day two years ago. He was admitted to Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich, where he spent eight months in intensive care and two months in a ward. He is believed to be one of the longest patient stays on hospital records.
Watts, a father of two, suffered two life-threatening lung collapses and an induced coma that lasted five weeks. At the time, his wife was called in to discuss the option of turning off his ventilator.
After spending almost a year at the hospital, Watts was sent home but had to learn to walk and talk again. He said:
Only a week and a half ago, I came off a nasal cannula for the first time since leaving the hospital. I used it for nine hours every night to aid my recovery, to help my lungs get back to some sort of normality. I managed to get to my son’s school and back last Monday. I can do about 15 minutes of walking before my legs start burning up
Fighting Until the End
He still has a hole in his neck from the tracheostomy pipe he used in the hospital, which is yet to heal, making it difficult for him to shower. The cab driver from Bexley is not letting this stop his recovery.
I fought until the end, I wanted to get back to the kids and wife. It’s a bit surreal to me, to be honest. I think, why did it happen to me? I feel proud that I managed to get out of it, and out the other side, and get my life back.
Watts did not get the chance to be vaccinated before taking ill, as the vaccine rollout hadn’t fully taken off then. But he has since received the three doses of the Covid vaccine and is cautioning others to do the same.
Despite being clinically vulnerable at the moment, Watts has welcomed the government’s announcement of an end to Plan B Covid measures in England. With this, mandatory face masks and Covid-19 passes, and others are all set to change.
I want everyone to live their lives to the max, this isn’t going anywhere and we’ve got to learn to live with it. I could wrap myself in cotton wool and live in a box but then what’s the point in living? I want the world to get back.