Covid-19: Newent man vaccinated by doctor who saved him

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image copyrightAndy Barr/ PA Wire
image captionAndy was shocked to see his doctor when he arrived for his Covid-19 vaccination

A man who was diagnosed with a one-in-a-million disease by a doctor, was shocked to have the same person deliver his Covid vaccination 23 years later.

Andy Barr, 44, from Newent, Gloucestershire, met Dr Jeff Meecham-Jones when medics were struggling to diagnose his condition in 1998

Dr Meecham-Jones had previously worked on a rare illness ward and spotted the symptoms of Goodpasture syndrome.

Mr Barr said he quickly recognised Dr Meechaam-Jones in their latest meeting.

Mr Barr, a PR specialist, said he had initially missed that his "guardian angel" doctor was administering his jab because of his mask.

"I looked at him and smiled and thought 'I recognise you'," he said.

Luckily Dr Meecham-Jones also recognised Mr Barr.

"He said 'I didn't think it could be the very same Andy Barr. I saw your name this morning and it jumped out at me'."

Dr Meecham-Jones had retired from the NHS but returned in 2020 as part of the recruitment drive to help with the Covid-19 pandemic.

'He saved my life'

The vaccination was the latest in a series of coincidences which have seen the two men's paths cross.

He had identified Mr Barr's condition as Goodpasture syndrome, a disease in which antibodies attack the kidney and lungs, two decades previously at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

"He's sort of dipped in and out of my life and always in a way that saves me," said Mr Barr.

Just a few years ago the two were reunited once again when Mr Barr was readmitted to hospital when he once again had an issue with his lungs, which turned out to be pneumonia. Dr Meecham-Jones was his physician.

A year later and the doctor's daughter applied for an internship at what happened to be Mr Barr's PR firm.

Mr Barr said he saw Dr Meecham-Jones as his guardian angel and believes he would have died had the doctor not been there that day.

"He saved my life and I don't take that for granted, I'm incredibly lucky to be here and he's the reason for that."

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