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Patient who contracted COVID-19 thanks compassionate hospital staff

A patient who has recently been treated for coronavirus (COVID-19) at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has shared his story and words of appreciation to the staff who cared for him.

Married father-of-one, Steve Crease, 54, an operations director for a carpentry and joinery company, from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

Steve is pictured with his daughter Tamzin and wife Sharon.

Steve said: “I was rather poorly in the middle of March, with breathlessness, a tight chest, a fever, cough, tiredness and a slight case of diarrhoea. I ended up being sent to A&E at The Princess Alexandra Hospital on 16 March, where I was taken to a ward with suspected pneumonia.

“I was put onto oxygen as I was struggling to breathe. I then had a COVID-19 test, which came back positive. After a couple of days on the ward, I wasn’t progressing, and was then told I needed to go to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“I phoned my wife, who was at home with my young daughter. When I was taken to ICU, I felt frightened. I was ventilated and I don’t remember the first part of it - I woke up about eight days later.

“The doctors and nurses were absolutely fantastic, they got me through all of the issues that I had. I was having breathing issues, sleeplessness and fevers. The staff filled a shower cap with ice to cool me down, but the biggest issue they helped me with was to help me make a card for my daughter’s 16th birthday, which took two nights to make. I can remember that I didn’t know whether it was day or night.

“After 11 days, I was gradually getting better, with help from the team and physiotherapists. I was then moved back to a ward and was weaned off of the oxygen. I was in hospital for just over three weeks overall, and was discharged on 7 April. I’m now back to work and doing a few hours a day. I’m feeling fantastic, I still get tired, but I’m getting there.

“Everybody looked after me and brought me back to health. I’d like to say a big thank you from myself and my family for saving my life and getting me home to my wife and 16-year-old daughter.

“I watched first-hand what all the team do at the hospital and how compassionate and caring every single person I came into contact with was – it was very humbling. You will be forever in my heart and my family’s.”

Steve and his family have now kindly made a large donation of treats as a boost for the hard-working staff, including chocolate bars and soft drinks. These will be served to our staff by aircrew from Stansted Airport who are offering a refreshment service at the hospital as part of the Project Wingman initiative.

Sharon McNally, director of nursing, midwifery, and allied health professionals, said: “We are pleased to hear that Steve is now feeling much better and are thankful to him for sharing his story of his recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We are delighted to hear the kind words of our patients regarding the care and support our amazing people are giving every day.

“We encourage our patients to continue to get in touch and share thank you messages with our staff, as these words of gratitude mean a great deal.”

You can share your words of thanks with hospital staff by calling the patient experience team on 01279 827084 or emailing paht.compliments@nhs.net.

Thank you to you all at work in these tough times. You are all brilliant trying so save lives and trying to beat this horrible virus. Without you we don’t know where we would be now. Love to you all in these challenging times for our NHS.                                      

                                                                                     Patient