Coronavirus: Dad 'still with us' despite slim survival hope

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image copyrightSue Martin
image captionOn Mal Martin's seventh day in hospital, his family were told to prepare for the worst

A man who was given "almost zero" hope of recovery after contracting Covid-19 "is still with us", his wife has said.

Mal Martin, 58, was taken to Bridgend's Princess of Wales Hospital a week after "feeling unwell" and placed on a ventilator.

His wife Sue has previously described the agony of having to say goodbye following her husband's prognosis.

But after 17 days on the ventilator, doctors will start weaning him off it.

"Incredibly, Mal is still with us," 49-year-old Mrs Martin said.

"Weaning from the ventilator and rehabilitation is going to be an extremely long, slow and painful process, and there are no guarantees that it will be successful, but we are prepared for whatever it brings.

"We are so, so grateful to the ICU [intensive care unit] team who are continuing to care for Mal. They, and everyone else on the front line, are wonderful human beings."

The family, from South Wales, said they were overwhelmed after getting thousands of hopeful messages of support from people "rooting for Mal".

"Our friends and neighbours have been just incredible, constantly checking in, providing meals, bread, cakes and plants," said Mrs Martin.

"Whilst we are trying to keep our feet on the ground we continue to hope. It doesn't matter how long it takes, we just want him home with us."

image copyrightSue Martin
image captionSue and the children were able to Facetime Mal when he first got admitted to hospital

Their daughter Hana spoke to BBC Newsbeat about the heartbreak of speaking to her dad on Facetime before he went into intensive care.

"He said he'd make it through as it wasn't his time. It was at that point calling him and then realising this could be the last time we speak to him," she said.

"The state that he was in, it was just horrible to see my dad like this. He was swollen, his hands swollen, you could see his arteries, his veins."

But now she said they are "talking about recovery".

"It is the first time I've believed he can make it through," she added.

"I don't think we could have asked for any better news considering the situation. Maybe we can even Facetime. At this point I will take anything to just hear his voice or see him again."

She is now helping to emphasise the importance of following government guidelines.

"The virus doesn't care who you are, how old you are, how healthy you are," she said.

"You have no idea how badly this virus can ruin your life. The only way this can be over is if everyone pulls together and follows the rules."

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