‘Brilliant, top notch care’ – one patient shares his Covid-19 recovery story

Every day people are recovering from COVID-19 and by the end of April 180 patients had left our hospitals. We spoke to one former patient about his experience and the ‘brilliant, top notch’ care he received at Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

Stewart Boyle contracted the virus last month and spent three days in hospital. After generally feeling unwell and experiencing shortness of breath his wife and daughters called an ambulance and he was taken to PRH. Stewart shared his experience with us and thanks the staff who looked after him during his stay and throughout his recovery.

The 64 year said: “It was like a bad flu initially, then I seemed to get better but at around eight days in the real battle began when my lungs started to become affected. The key moment for me was when my wife and daughters, who heard my breathing was bad and I was not making sense or thinking straight called for an ambulance.

“Within an hour I was being wheeled into a ‘red zone’ for triage where I had lots of tests taken.”

Stewart was put on oxygen and moved to Balcombe and then Pycombe ward where he stayed for three days.

“I’m so lucky I caught it early, lots of people, especially men, would probably leave it until too late – another couple of days and I think I’d have been in real trouble. Going straight on to a oxygen gave my lungs a break and allowed them time to fight back.

“That first day in hospital I was actually really worried I wouldn’t make it but I made a commitment that I’d pull through. The hospital staff were regularly checking in and asking questions. They upped the oxygen when I needed it and overall they were brilliant.

“I take my hat off to the staff. I felt I was in good hands, from the cleaners to the senior consultants – it was just brilliant, top notch. I was able to relax, be looked after and concentrate on the main task of getting better and fighting off the virus.

“There was a real solidarity among the staff, lots of good humour and a real team spirit

– it sounds like a cliché but when you see it first-hand it’s true. I was so impressed by the level of communication which kept things running smoothly on the ward.

Stewart, who is a green energy consultant and also runs an environmental media production company, was discharged over a month ago. He is slowly recovering at home and doing the exercises staff gave him to help his lungs function better.

“A belated thank you to everyone at PRH for the amazing support and professionalism during my recent COVID-19 stay. Especially staff on Balcombe and Pyecombe wards. It was a scary time and you supported me back from the edge. Thanks!”