A Kirkby-in-Ashfield father of one will never forget seeing his family again for the first time after his 81 day stay in King’s Mill Hospital battling Covid-19.
Ricky Chadwick, 54, not only spent 81 days in hospital, but was even unconscious throughout his own birthday during that time.
After being diagnosed with Covid-19 back in April, it has been a long journey and road to recovery for Ricky, he said: “I vaguely remember arriving at the hospital in an ambulance, but all my senses had gone, I couldn’t really move or hear much.”
Shortly after arriving in hospital, Ricky was put on a ventilator and spent 28 days in ICU in an induced coma before coming round. He added “It was really strange coming round and seeing everyone in their PPE it was a very alien environment, but the staff were amazing and really helped me make sense of where I was and what was happening.
“The staff kept a diary for me whilst I was in ICU, so I could piece together the time I had lost, they even left me lots of well wishes on my birthday, which my family and I thought was really kind. The family liaison team in Critical Care were fantastic and kept my family updated so well whilst I was in a coma. When I came round they even arranged for songs to be played that I liked and for me to speak to my family via video call, which was really good for us all.”Once transferred onto King’s Mill’s Covid-19 recovery ward, Ward 43, Ricky had to learn to walk again with the help of a zimmer frame at first and then a walking stick. He also had to get to grips eating solid foods again after such a long time on a ventilator, he said: “It was really tough going to start with, but I can’t thank the staff on the ward enough, from the porters to the therapists, the doctors and nurses, you were all brilliant and the care was second to none, they really were an amazing team.”
Ricky says there were tough days where he found it hard, especially as he was not able to have any visitors during this time due to the Covid-19 restrictions, but on a particularly tough day his family were allowed in for a very quick visit to talk though the ward window as a surprise to help boost his spirits. Ricky said: “Although they were not allowed onto the ward it was brilliant to see them all after so long, it really cheered me up and helped with my recovery. It’s really hard not seeing your family face to face for such a long time, but the staff did everything they could to help me, a small visit was something so simple, but it really meant the world to me and made all the difference.”
After the short visit from his family Ricky spent a further two weeks on Ward 43 until he was discharged on Friday 26 June, speaking about seeing his wife, Monica and Daughter Natalie, for the first time outside of the hospital he said: “It was a really emotional moment, it’s so strange not seeing your loved ones for so long, it was amazing to see them again. I cannot thank all the hospital staff enough for their care, they really did bring me back from the brink, it’s hard to put into words, but their level of care and support has been outstanding.”
Matron for Critical Care, Christian Brailsford said: “It was an emotional moment to see Ricky being discharged. He spent such a long time on ICU, where we managed to keep his family as updated as possible. We are pleased Ricky also found the diary useful, we think it’s so beneficial for patients to catch up with things that they have missed whilst being cared for. We wish Ricky all the best in his recovery and we are so pleased that he is now home with his family.”Justin Wyatt, Charge Nurse for Ward 43 said: “It always gives us a real boost to see our long term patients leave the hospital once they have recovered. We all got to know Ricky during his time with us and we couldn’t be happier that he is back where he belongs with his family.”