'Every single one of them are heroes': Leeds Covid-19 survivor praises hospital staff after ICU battle
A Covid-19 survivor from Leeds has paid tribute to the "heroes" in hospital who saved his life as he battled the deadly virus in intensive care.
Glenn Philpott, of Morley, is now recovering at home after spending 11 days at St James' Hospital hooked up to high levels of oxygen to combat the effects of coronavirus ravaging his lungs.
The 59-year-old, who has no underlying medical conditions, spoke to the Yorkshire Evening Post about his harrowing ordeal - including "heartbreaking" scenes he witnessed in ICU - and praised the "incredible" care of medics for helping him to pull through.
He said: "I'm looking at things in a different light at the moment. I'm looking at the NHS from the other side. I have seen what goes on in there. I have seen what they do. Every single one of them are heroes. Working under extreme pressures, in difficult conditions - it's hot and sweaty. How they do it I don't know. They are all stars. The doctors, the nurses, even the people sweeping the floors, the whole lot of them are just incredible people."
Glenn was taken to hospital by ambulance on March 30 after struggling for ten days with a cough and temperature.
Tests confirmed he had Covid-19 and he was taken into intensive care after his oxygen levels fell dangerously low.
He said: "When they said I had it, I just thought 'oh god'. It's not like the flu. It hits you like a mallet. Every time I tried to take a deep breath, I coughed."
Medics pumped litres of oxygen into his lungs day and night before gradually lowering the levels as his body successfully fought the virus.
Still weak from his ordeal, Glenn said it is the mental scars now affecting him most, having had to watch helplessly as people panic while struggling to breathe.
He said: "I saw some terrible things I never want to see again. Heartbreaking. The curtains are closed but you can still see what's going on."
Glenn, who was in peak fitness when he fell ill - as a regular gym-goer and walking club member - warned the virus "doesn't discriminate" and he saw men and women of all ages struck down in hospital.
He said: "You just think you're never going to get it. I don't know how I caught it - it could have been from anywhere. It's not just about the elderly. I was next to a 36-year-old lad who had it."
Glenn pleaded with people still flouting the social distancing rules to stop risking people's lives.
He said: "If people had seen what I have seen and what I have had to go through myself, they would think twice about being stupid. People think they're invincible. They need to follow the guidelines and stay indoors. One person's sheer stupidity could end up infecting thousands."
Steve Bush, clinical director for emergency and specialist medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “ This is a really difficult time for those affected by COVID-19, including hospital staff and, of course, those who become symptomatic, their family and friends.
"We are always very happy to know that patients we have looked after in intensive care have been discharged safely to continue their recovery at home.”
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