'They saved my life': 80-year-old Leeds man thanks NHS staff after beating the coronavirus

An 80-year-old man from Leeds has thanked the NHS for saving his life after he contracted the coronavirus.

Thursday, 16th April 2020, 6:00 am
Keith Adams, from Kippax, has thanked the NHS for saving his life after he spent 13 days in St James Hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. Photo provided by family.

Keith Adams, from Kippax, spent 13 days in St James’ Hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.

The great-grandfather began feeling unwell after returning from a two week holiday in Spain with his wife of 56 years, Pamela.

He started with a bad chest and cough and by the end of the first week, he felt very sick, was sleeping a lot, had a high temperature and was aching all over.

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Pictured is Keith Adams, from Kippax, during his national service with the Army. His family have thanked the "amazing" NHS staff who cared for him when he had coronavirus.

As Mr Adams suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Wegener's disease, which can cause chest infections, he was initially prescribed antibiotics by a doctor.

However, by the end of the week, Mr Adams, who did his national service in the British Army before working at DuPont printers for 35 years, was feeling much worse and left gasping for air.

Mrs Adams called an ambulance and he was taken to St James’ on Saturday, March 28.

Granddaughter Nicola Hough, 29, from Allerton Bywater, said: “We spoke to my grandma soon after the ambulance had taken my grandad away and she was beyond upset.

“It was horrendous for everybody as none of the family could even go and comfort her.

“When this coronavirus thing started the whole family said ‘if granddad gets this, it will be bad’ because he is elderly and has other health problems.

“Even my granddad admitted that he thought he was dying and would never make it back home.

“He said to my grandma: ‘When I got in the ambulance, I thought ‘this is it now, I’m not coming out of here’.

“The thought that they had been married all those years and it could all end like this destroyed my grandma.”

Miss Hough, who is mum to four-year-old Archie, added: “They have never been properly apart. They’ve never spent a long length of time away from each other.

“It was so worrying handing him over to the hospital staff, not knowing what would happen and then not being able to do anything.

“She was worried about him and missing him. It was an awful, awful, time.”

Staff at St James’ did an X-Ray and found out that Mr Adams had pneumonia, however, they did not know if it was Covid-19 related.

He had to remain in isolation until the coronavirus test results came back and on Tuesday, March 31 he was moved onto ward J15 with three other men with Covid-19.

All of the men have since recovered and been discharged.

Mr Adams, a lifelong Leeds United fan, went from “strength to strength” in the hospital and was discharged on Thursday, April 9 and reunited with Pamela - right in time for his 81st birthday on Sunday 19.

Ms Hough, an admin worker at Leeds Building Society, said: “He just got better every day.

“He’d been on oxygen since he was admitted but he wasn’t ventilated or put into intensive care. The staff managed to control it amazingly.

“When he got discharged all the doctors and nurses had lined up in the corridor to say goodbye and see him off. He said it was really emotional.

“Now he is back at home and is a bit tired but other than that he is doing really well.

“We are so relieved and so thankful to the staff that have looked after him, especially as they have done everything for him since we couldn’t be there.

“My grandad said they saved his life. He said that if he hadn't gone into the hospital he would have just died at home.”

Mr Adam’s children Susan and husband Michael, Nigel and wife Nicky, grandchildren Nicola, Christopher, Charlotte and Lewis, Rachel, Mackenzie and Brad and little great-grandson Archie, now want to share their thanks to the ‘amazing’ staff at St James.

Miss Hough said: “If it wasn’t for the NHS my granddad wouldn't be here today.

“Everyone from the cleaners, the paramedics, the doctors, the nurses, to the people bringing him food - everyone has been absolutely amazing, especially the people on ward J15.

“My granddad said he couldn’t fault anything and that they saved his life.

“We genuinely can’t thank them enough.”

Dr Phil Wood, Medical Director at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Thanks to the fantastic care from our incredible teams, more than 100 Covid-19 patients have now been safely discharged back to their homes and families.

"We are so proud of the J15 team and indeed all our staff who are going above and beyond during these difficult times to support patients and their families.

"We would like to wish Mr Adams and his family the very best of health."