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Staff Member ‘Hovered near Death’ During Eight Weeks in Covid-19 ICU

Published on: 23 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 25 Jul, 2020

Chris Bowers

A 45-year-old staff member at the Royal Surrey County Hospital is recovering after three heart attacks and near-death complications during eight weeks in intensive care battling Covid-19.

Chris Bowers, an asthma sufferer from Guildford contracting Covid-19 in March and spent 85 days in an ICU.

He was already ill with a chest infection when he began to suffer fatigue and shortness of breath. His brother found him semi-conscious at his home one evening and called an ambulance.

Chris said his overriding memory of that time was a feeling of being “completely dazed and tired”.

In hospital, he had to have significant ventilatory support for the eight weeks while his body battled the virus. But he suffered multiple complications, including the heart attacks, kidney failure, sepsis, blood transfusions and the collapse of his windpipe.

But almost miraculously Chris managed to pull through and is now on the road to recovery.

He said: “The whole experience was extremely frightening but I had a huge amount of trust in the doctors and nurses looking after me. They were amazing and I cannot thank them enough for not giving up and keeping me on this planet.

“Their commitment and care was just fantastic and I am more grateful than I can ever say.

“If anyone takes anything from my story, I hope it is of the need to stay vigilant of the virus and maintain social distancing at all times.”

On his discharge to Haslemere Community Hospital for an 18-day rehabilitation programme, Chris was applauded by his colleagues who lined the corridors to wish him luck.

He added: “My team would come up in their lunch breaks to the window in Intensive Care and wave at me through the glass. They would also talk to me over the phone and help keep my spirits up, during a challenging time.”

Although Chris now faces a long road to recovery, he is maintaining a positive mental attitude and cannot wait to be home with his friends and family.

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