Grandfather discharged from Queen’s Hospital after recovering from COVID-19

A diabetic grandfather who spent over a week in intensive care with coronavirus is finally healthy enough to go home.

Konda Mbwaki, a 60-year-old driver for Ford, was discharged yesterday (April 15), almost three weeks after he was first taken to intensive care at King George Hospital in Ilford.

A video posted to Twitter by a senior nurse at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, where Konda was sent once out of intensive care, shows doctors clapping for him as his wheelchair is pushed through the ward.

Konda, who has four children and six grandchildren, praised the staff at both hospitals and said he was excited to return home to his wife.

He said: “They looked after me really well and I’m very happy. Whenever I didn’t understand anything, they were there to explain it to me. Whenever I called them, they came to help me. 

“Thank you to all the nurses and everyone who was there to support me, god bless you all.

“I am so lucky to be going home and I’m really excited to see my wife, and my daughter Sephora, the last of my kids who lives at home.

“I video-called my wife in hospital, but I wasn’t able to see her so it’ll be really nice to get home and enjoy some home comforts.”

His wife Yoko Vumeri called the ambulance to their Dagenham home on March 28 when Konda began struggling to breathe, where paramedics immediately noticed symptoms of the virus.

He was put on a ventilator and spent more than a week in intensive care until he was healthy enough to be transferred to Queen’s Hospital to recover.

Senior Queen’s Hospital nurse Sarah Neilson said: “Konda was the first Covid-19 patient to come to us from intensive care and he was still very poorly at first.

“To see him doing so much better and going home is lovely and he can continue to rest and recuperate at home.”

Konda added a message for those social distancing at home, saying: “Be careful – this virus exists and I know the pain it can cause.

“Don’t play the game, wash your hands and follow all the guidance and medical advice.”

Konda leaves hospital to applause from Queen’s medical staff
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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter