Shifnal coronavirus survivor comes home after 102 days in hospital

Paul Hodgskin first noticed that his taste had changed when he ate a pizza that tasted of cardboard.

After he started vomiting and his temperature rose to around 41 degrees at the end of March, the 64-year-old was taken to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

A day later, the father of three children was brought into an induced coma and connected to a ventilator. His relatives were warned about Easter that his chances of survival were only 10 percent.

"I was taken to Covid ward and the next day I was admitted to the intensive care unit (ITU)," said Paul, who lives in Shifnal.

Paul Hodgskin in the hospital

"I don't remember much afterwards. I remember doing a selfie with a full face mask.

"I sent a message to my partner Sue that they would put me into an induced coma. That's the last thing I remember until I woke up."

On May 1, a month after he was put in a coma, he opened his eyes and tried to speak.

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But he stayed on a ventilator and only left the ITU on May 29th. The staff cheered and clapped when he was pulled out.

His partner Sue Dhingra, who was due to marry next month until Covid-19 stopped her plans, said she and her family members could have kept in touch with Paul with FaceTime when restrictions held up visitors.

"The first time I saw him in the flesh was May 28th," she said.

"They brought him out of the hospital to get some fresh air and they said I could see him when I was a safe distance away. It was really emotional.

"When he was clapped out of the ITU, it was so nice.

"Some nurses stayed after their shift because they wanted to see him go. Some of them started crying."

Paul Hodgskin

Paul was then taken to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital's kidney department for kidney problems, which stopped working when he suffered from multiple organ failures over Easter.

He spent another month there until he was taken to the Bridgnorth Community Hospital on June 25 for physical rehabilitation.

Sue, 63, says he had to learn to eat, walk, and even breathe again.

She said, "He had lost a lot of his strength. He couldn't even lift his head at once."

Paul finally came home in an ambulance on Saturday after spending 102 days in the various hospitals.

"I couldn't believe it when they said he could come home," said Sue, who has been in a relationship with Paul for seven years.

"We were told about Easter that he had a 10 percent chance of survival. When I heard that, I thought he was going to die.

"It was terrible at the time, but over the weeks he took small steps in the right direction.

Happier times when Paul and Sue went to Zimbabwe

"I missed him so much. He is a happy, happy man.

"The fact that he is still here is a tribute to the skills of ITU staff in Telford. They never gave up on him and as a family we will be eternally grateful to them.

"The staff were wonderful. We could call and get updates at any time of the day or night.

"His rehabilitation is ongoing and will be a long process."

Paul, who was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the UK in 2007, said: "I am very grateful to the hospital staff and their care.

"When I woke up at the ITU, I couldn't move anything. When I went to Bridgnorth, I was very restless on the walker.

"The physiotherapy I received gave me the confidence to use the frame.

"I went through the wars and I am very grateful for all the efforts that people have made. I am grateful to Sue and my whole family for choosing me.

"I would like to thank all of the staff, doctors and nurses. They said if I hadn't been admitted to PRH I would not have survived.

"I wouldn't be here without her today."

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