Bristol

Coronavirus: Survivor dubbed ‘Teflon Man' by doctors

Brian Harvey with the medics who treated him during nine weeks in hospital Image copyright Faye Harvey
Image caption Brian Harvey will be able to physically see his family for the first time since he came out of his coma

A Covid-19 survivor has been dubbed "Teflon Man” by doctors after seven weeks in hospital during which he spent a month in a coma.

Brian Harvey, 69, will soon be able to see his family for the first time after collapsing with suspected pneumonia.

At Bristol Royal Infirmary he had to be put into a coma and on a ventilator after testing positive for coronavirus.

Doctors told his family to prepare for the worst but Mr Harvey made a "miracle" recovery.

His relatives say they have been on a “rollercoaster” since he was admitted on 28 March and now hope to see him come home in the next few weeks.

Talking about seeing Mr Harvey recover Becky Russell, intensive care unit (ICU) sister, said it had been a "real boost" for the team.

His daughter Faye Stapleton, said when the doctors could not pull him out of the induced month-long coma the family went through their “darkest days”.

Doctors had told the family to FaceTime him on their phones in the hope their voices would help rouse him.

Image copyright Faye Harvey
Image caption Brian Harvey (centre) will have to learn how to walk and eat again before he is strong enough to return home

And on 13 April, they were told that against the odds Mr Harvey had started responding.

“It was that same night my daughter made a wish that he would be okay and Dad is now FaceTiming me. We just can't believe it," Mrs Stapleton said.

“We had to explain to him what coronavirus was because he had no memory of how he got to hospital and of the outbreak.”

Unfortunately, Mr Harvey then contracted an an infection on his heart so he is not yet able to leave hospital.

He also now faces having to re-learn basic skills like walking and eating.

“My mum just wants to be with him because she’s never spent longer than four days without him," said Mrs Stapleton.

“The nurses and doctors said the fact he survived was a miracle and called him 'Teflon Man' because he’s made of strong stuff.”

Ms Russell said Mr Harvey - who has so far been the ICU's longest staying coronavirus patient - had been "desperately unwell".

"It's a real boost for the team when patients are well enough to be discharged to the wards, and later sent home," she said.

"We'd like to wish Mr Harvey all the best with his ongoing recovery, and hope he will be home soon."

Mr Harvey's family are now raising money for electronic devices to help ICU staff keep patients connected with their families.

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