‘He’d said his final goodbyes, but the nurses saved his life’

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AN Islander who spent three weeks in the Hospital’s intensive care unit with Covid returned to thank the nurses who saved his life.

Manuel De Sousa (68) caught Covid on Boxing Day and, as his condition deteriorated, he said what he thought might be a final goodbye to his family as he was taken to hospital on 2 January.

Mr De Sousa, a father of two, was at high-risk of Covid complications having previously won a battle with cancer.

Speaking on behalf of Mr De Sousa, as English is not his first language, his daughter Dalila Tewari said: ‘During Christmas last year he felt fine, but on Boxing Day he took a turn for the worse and his daily LFT came back positive. Because of his background and his previous battle with cancer we took him to the Hospital to get checked and all his bloods came back fine.

‘Over the next few days he was up and down but on 2 January he was really ill and we had to call the paramedics. He had breathing problems, was sweating profusely and his whole body ached. When collected by the paramedics he said his final goodbyes to us as he felt like he was not coming back.’

She said the situation was extremely upsetting and also came as a surprise as her father avoided crowded places and always wore a mask.

Upon arrival at the Hospital he was placed on Rozel Ward before being transferred to the ICU later that night.

Mrs Tewari said the situation was ‘touch and go’ throughout his time in intensive care.

‘He is very strong physically, but Covid really broke him down. He was given lots of oxygen but his breathing was atrocious and the nurses told us his body was giving up. One night he suffered from an irregular heartbeat as well.

‘The staff were amazing though and they recognised that he needed some family contact and so after going through all the Covid procedures, I was allowed to come into the unit to deliver him some soup everyday. He said that made a massive difference to his recovery,’ she said.

After spending 23 days in the ICU, Mr De Sousa was discharged and sent home on 25 January.

This week, he returned to the ICU to thank the team who saved his life and present them with a plaque. Mrs Tewari said that he wanted to do something special for the nurses to thank them.

The plaque, which says ‘Thank you for saving my life. We will be eternally grateful for your care, kindness and compassion’, was made using wood from Acorn and engraved by CI Engravers.

‘It is so hard to express just how grateful he is to the nurses. Nothing can come close to show just how much it means to him and our family, but we hope this plaque is still a reflection of that gratitude,’ said Mrs Tewari.

‘He has recovered well. He lost 10kg during the process but has now gained that back and although his breathing is still not 100%, he is getting better. He has been referred to the Covid clinic and is being given ongoing support,’ she added.

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