"I can't imagine anything worse" says Dorset coronavirus patient

"I can't imagine anything worse" says Dorset coronavirus patient

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 18th April 2020. (Updated at 12:23am 18th April 2020)

A coronavirus patient who was in Intensive Care in Dorset County Hospital for a week is on the road to recovery.

Malcolm Cumber, 60, from Dorchester was admitted to DCH via the Emergency Department at the end of March after suffering from intense fatigue and shortness of breath.

Malcolm didn't respond to initial treatment and he was moved to intensive care to be put on a ventilator.

Malcolm said:

"I had been feeling absolutely rotten, just really tired and short of breath and being an asthmatic I was really worried about catching coronavirus. 

"We spoke to our GP who came out to our home and wanted to monitor my oxygen levels for 24 hours. With them not improving we were told to ring 999 for an ambulance the next day. 

"I was admitted to a ward and tested positive for coronavirus, but after that it all becomes a bit blurry. I think I went downhill quite fast and then ended up in intensive care on a ventilator for a week. "

Malcolm doesn't remember much about waking up but, he says he was just grateful to be alive.

"Fortunately I have slowly but surely been recovering. I was on another ward for about a week after intensive care and then I was discharged in time for the Easter Bank Holiday and could return home to my wife and our dog Crumble.

He added: 

"All the staff were absolutely fantastic. I can't fault them. They were all just incredibly professional and supportive.

"I've got a long way to go with my recovery. I still feel like someone is sitting on my chest, but I am building my strength back up day by day.

"I would encourage everyone to stay at home. We need to stay safe and help the NHS.

I can't imagine anything worse than what I have been through. This is a deadly virus. I am one of the lucky ones."

Malcolm is now recovering at home with his wife, Nicky and their dog Crumble. 

Crumble is a therapy dog that Nicky takes into DCH. 

Medical Director at Dorset County Hospital Alastair Hutchison said:

"We were absolutely delighted to see Mr Cumber return home to his loved ones and wish him well in his continued recovery. 

"Our teams of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in intensive care and on our wards are working around the clock to ensure that all of our patients get the best possible care and I'm immensely proud of their dedication and bravery.

"Looking after patients who are as unwell as Mr Cumber is a huge team effort involving not just doctors and nurses but also radiographers, therapists, dieticians, porters, procurement, estates and IT teams.

"Mr Cumber's recovery is not yet complete but he demonstrates that even the most severely affected patients can overcome COVID-19 and walk out of hospital. He exemplifies why we have continued hope for all of those affected by this dangerous virus."