Father’s COVID-19 recovery after record intensive care stay a ‘sheer miracle’

The daughter of a supermarket worker who survived a record number of days in intensive care after contracting Covid-19 today described her father’s survival as a “sheer miracle”.

Rohit Patel, 61, was admitted to King George Hospital in Ilford, part of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, on March 31 with breathing problems.

Just a week earlier, on the first full day of lockdown, the Asda worker had left halfway through his early morning checkout shift to go home when he felt ill.

The father-of-three spent 52 days in the intensive care unit — a record for the hospital for a Covid-19 patient the family were told — and survived. Some 46 days were spent on a ventilator.

Twenty-seven of these were in an induced coma. Doctors and nurses lined the hospital corridors and clapped as Mr Patel was moved to a general ward on May 22, where he is now recovering and awaiting a date to return home.

Daughter Chandni Patel, from Redbridge, said: “A few times we were told that dad might not pull through. The odds were against him so we were preparing for the worst. It is a miracle he pulled through. The entire family are just so unbelievably grateful for everything the doctors and nurses have done. It’s a sheer miracle.”

After several weeks on the ventilator, Mr Patel’s condition began to improve and doctors started planning to remove the machinery helping him breathe.

But when doctors began removing the ventilator Mr Patel’s condition deteriorated and medics discovered he had caught sepsis, which was also attacking his lungs.

They later found he had multiple bacterial infections.

Ms Patel said: “We had all this hope he was going to survive and then we found he had something else to fight. It was a really difficult time. The doctors did everything they could and my dad fought hard and he came through it. It is unbelievable.”

He is now having to relearn to walk, eat and drink on his own.

Chief Medical Officer Magda Smith said: “We are so glad that after such a long stay on our intensive care unit, Rohit has improved enough to continue his recovery on one of our wards.

“We are sure this has provided relief to his family and we hope his recovery continues to go well and that he will be back home with them soon.”

Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter