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First two ventilated COVID patients go home

Danny Egan, in a wheelchair, applauds staff who are clapping him

Main picture: Patient Danny Egan, 73, applauds staff as they clap him out of Morriston Hospital following his recovery from COVID-19


Coronavirus survivor Danny Egan knew exactly what he wanted to do after being discharged from hospital – give his wife a kiss.

The 73-year-old grandad was one of the first two previously ventilated COVID-19 patients to go home from Swansea’s Morriston Hospital.

The remarkable recoveries were marked by dozens of staff who lined the corridors outside ward H to send off Danny and 48-year-old David Courtney-Williams, a charge nurse on ward 12 at Singleton Hospital, with a rousing round of applause.

Ward H sister Kirsty Hopkins said: “They were extremely unwell and were ventilated for quite a while in ITU (intensive care).

“You will have seen in the media that some people are not managing to come off the ventilator, so it has been amazing to see them recover and being discharged.

“ITU are fantastic in the care they provide under the pressures they are facing and have provided ward H with great support to patients pre and post ITU admission.”

She added: “It’s a really proud moment. We have had to adapt so quickly. We are a completely different ward normally - we’re a urology ward - so going to medical looking after respiratory patients, the team have been amazing. They have really adapted well.”

Image shows patient Danny Egan in a wheelchair next to Sister Kirsty Hopkins Danny Egan, 73, from Port Talbot, with Sister Kirsty Hopkins Credit: SBUHB

Retired service engineer Danny, from Port Talbot, remembers very little of the past few weeks, but was full of praise for the staff who have brought him back from the brink.

“We went out, my son’s birthday, and the next thing I was waking up in a ward and I didn’t have any socks on and people were trying to tell me to move my feet and I thought, ‘How can I move my feet? Where am I?’

“I don’t remember coming here, but within weeks things started moving and started going. Of course, the family weren’t here with the restrictions.

“But I have got two little grandchildren out there. I could probably pick them up today. This time last week I wouldn’t have been able to pick them up.

“I feel a heck of a lot better.”

He added: “I don’t know what the top team is in anybody’s eyes football wise, but this has got to be it for rebuilding people. I think they could even put a chain on your bike.”

When asked what he’d do first on leaving hospital he replied: “Give my wife a kiss!”

Morriston Hospital’s nurse director Mark Madams said the discharges lifted the spirits of staff who have seen tough times.

“Our staff have worked incredibly hard supporting every patient with Coronavirus here at Morriston Hospital and all the families who couldn’t visit,” he said.

Image shows patient David Courtney-Williams giving the thumbs up to clapping staff. Charge nurse David Courtney-Williams gives colleagues the thumbs up as he is clapped out of Morriston Hospital Credit: SBUHB

 “Obviously there have been some very sad outcomes. All of the clinical teams really feel each and every one of them.

“So it’s really uplifting and very supportive to the staff to know we have had some survivors from Coronavirus and seeing them being discharged today really reinforces that we strive every time to give the best outcomes for patients.”

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