A DAD that beat Covide-19 left the hospital after a record 65 days on a ventilator.
Nurses applauded John Betts, 59, who was in a coma at Northampton General.
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He said, “I am blessed to have come through this battle.”
The fighting father, 59, spent the longest known time on the intensive care machine of any hit Brit coronavirus.
He came several times close to death and his family was warned four times that he might not spend the night.
He finally left the hospital on Thursday after waking up from a coma – similar to that endured by the husband of TV presenter Kate Garraway.
Masked hospital staff applauded as they left Northampton General Hospital , where he was admitted at the end of March , and were taken home.
In a powerful message to his colleagues with the virus, he said: “For all those who are experiencing this horrible disease, stay strong. I am fortunate to have gone through this battle and to be back home with my family.
“I still have a long way to go and I know rehabilitation could take up to six months, but I have wonderful support around me.
“I am eternally grateful to the staff and doctors at Northampton General.”
The business consultant was rushed to hospital on 26 March and placed in intensive care after testing positive for Covide-19.
He was sedated and put on a ventilator the next day while he was having trouble breathing.
Her daughter Lauren Bedford, 23, and her husband Cameron, 25, have been asked four times to prepare for the worst.
Cameron, 25, said: “It’s been an emotional roller coaster. At first, when he came in, they said they needed to do some testing, but hoped to get him in and out within two weeks.
Lauren visited John at the hospital the last time doctors thought he could die.
Cameron said: “Lauren came in and said, “Keep fighting.” He was not awake at the time, but sometimes the voice of a family member can help. He woke up two days later, on April 16.
John was finally removed from the fan on June 1.
Cameron saw the similarities with the fate of TV’s Kate hit husband Derek Draper, 52.
He said: “They got a lot worse, but I know the pain she must have felt.
“There can be problems around brain damage when people wake up from such a long time in a coma.
“L (John) had CT scans and took about ten days to come around after sedation – which is quite long.
“‘was the most disturbing point-thinking, ‘Will he wake up,’ and when he does, ‘is he going to have some kind of brain damage’.
Mr. Draper remains in a coma in hospital, nearly three months after contracting coronavirus.
Lauren and Cameron have now moved in with John to help him recover. He lost 13kg (2nd) during his illness and can now walk only 20 yards at a time.
Doctors believe he will eventually be back in full health next March – a year later when he became ill.
Dr Sonia Swart, Executive Director of Northampton General Hospital said:
“Everyone at the hospital wishes John the best as he leaves us to continue his recovery with his family.
“I want to pay tribute to all of our staff for their care, compassion and dedication to John, and continue to show to each of our patients.”
Last month, an unidentified 35-year-old woman with Covide-19 recovered after 58 days on a ventilator at Southampton General Hospital.
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Yesterday we supported a proposal by Lord Ashcroft to honour our health heroes with the gong of bravery given for acts of bravery that did not take place in combat.
A No.10 spokesman said: “The NHS is doing a fantastic job and the nation will want to find a way to say thank you when we have defeated this virus.”
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Dr. Sanjay Gupta, senior consultant at the hospital for intensive care, said:
“Out of a shot, she can communicate, whereas before she was so weak, she could barely lift a finger to write anything.”
The father-of-three, George Clark, 61, spent 56 days on a ventilator at Ayr Hospital after being struck by the virus.
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