Scarborough man who finally leaves hospital after two months tells of coronavirus hell

Scarborough Hospital’s first coronavirus survivor has finally left, after being admitted shortly after Easter.

By Louise Perrin
Thursday, 11th June 2020, 5:31 pm

In an emotional interview with The Scarborough News, Andy Williams said: “It’s been a nightmare, I shouldn’t have survived, but the staff in ICU have been brilliant.”

It’s been a challenging time for Andy, 56, who up until recently was a full time carer for his father, who suffered from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a form of Parkinson’s disease.

Sadly his dad passed away on Easter Saturday. Andy said: “I couldn’t even go to the funeral because I wasn’t well.

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Andy prior to contracting coronavirus

“It’s just something that I’ve had to put to the back of my mind. I’ll grieve when I’m better.

“I wasn’t feeling too well then and by the Sunday after Easter I said to my partner, Susan, that I needed an ambulance.

“When the paramedics arrived, they took one look at me and said “You’ve got Covid.

“I don’t know anything about anything else until I woke up.”

Andy with physio, Ben

Andy was admitted to Scarborough Hospital on April 14 and after three days was put into a coma which he believes lasted around three weeks.

When in the coma his kidneys failed and he had to be put on dialysis. But coronavirus still wasn’t finished with him, while he was in ICU he suffered a stroke.

“I could deal with the Covid, it’s just the stroke causing problems,” he said.

Andy, who lives on Grosvenor Crescent, says he was completely fit and healthy prior to contracting coronavirus.

Andy with son, Sam.

In the time he has been in hospital he has lost over three stones in weight.

Andy’s daughter has had permission to come and visit, just to fetch clothes and bits. “You can’t survive on one set of clothes,” he said.

The virus has left Andy feeling very tired and he has been having physio for the last few weeks before progressing to walking using parallel bars this week.

Today he has transferred to Woodlands rehabilitation centre in York, which is a private hospital being funded by the NHS. “In York there are therapy pools and everything. They said that I’m improving so much, it’s beyond expectations.”

Andy still has a way to go though and his recovery is anticipated to take another two months.

Talking to Andy he is noticeably very emotional, and his voice has the same gravelly husk of someone recovering from laryngitis.

He said: “I have been very, very, lucky. The staff are excellent, they’ve been brilliant.

“They’ve even been fetching me chocolate and sweets.”

Andy says anyone who suspects they may have Covid-19 shouldn’t wait to seek help. He said: “Get it sorted straight away, don’t wait.”

“It’s my own belief that the government has messed up. It’s not safe. They’ve lifted lockdown too soon.”

“It’s not going to go away.”

As for the staff of Scarborough Hospital, Andy said: “I owe them my life. I’ve been very well looked after. The physios have been brilliant, absolutely brilliant.”

“I’ve been tested and I’m completely clear of it.”

Having arrived in York, Andy said the change of scenery was strange. “ I can see the outside world. My send off was amazing so many staff lined the corridor.”

Liverpool FC supporter Andy said his recovery could take a couple of months: “I just want my own bed and for the football to start. It’s the first thing I asked when I woke up. Have they won the league yet?!”