Two COVID-19 patients recently discharged from Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals have spoken about their experience being treated for the virus and gratitude for the teams who contributed to their recovery.
Angela Schlegel, 36, was admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital after 11 days of Covid-19 symptoms. After being transferred from its intensive care unit to Royal Brompton Hospital Angela, who has a history of asthma and chest infections, was told that alongside Covid-19 she had an undiagnosed condition called eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA).
The condition can damage various organ systems in the body including the heart, joints, lungs, and nerves.
"Coronavirus was putting my body and my heart under a lot of stress and doctors said it had accelerated my EGPA,” Angela said.
“I had been going back and forward to the doctor with asthma for two years but had no idea my heart was in trouble. I will forever be grateful to the doctors at Royal Brompton for their specialist heart and lung knowledge and for my treatment plan.”
Angela was hospitalised for just under five weeks. Speaking about her experience at Royal Brompton Hospital, she said: “No one goes into hospital and has a good time, but despite everything I have some great memories, which is quite special.”
“The level of care I got was outstanding. With the absence of family visiting I was so comforted by the level of care that the nurses gave me and their supportive presence.
“We laughed together and cried together, even sang, they really are extraordinary human beings. During my stay I had my hand held when I needed comforting the most. The gentleness I saw from the nurses and their care of other patients moved me to tears.”
Angela, who is now recovering at home, will continue to be a Royal Brompton outpatient under the care of its respiratory and cardiology departments to help manage the EGPA.
Mahesh Gorasia, 31, was admitted to Northwick Park Hospital after complaining of a fever and dry cough. As an asthma sufferer, Mahesh noticed his breathing was much worse than normal, and when he measured his blood oxygen, the reading was much lower that it should have been.
After calling 111, Mahesh was told to go straight to A&E as he has an existing respiratory condition. A day later, Mahesh was diagnosed with coronavirus and put into a medically induced coma. He was then transferred to Harefield Hospital and spent a week on its Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU).
Mahesh’s wife Reshma has expressed her gratitude for the care he received and the support the team gave her and their family. She said: “From the moment Mahesh was transferred to Harefield, we were kept updated with calls from the nurses and doctors. They provided us with daily updates and gave us information about his care, treatment and progress.
“It was hard for us to cope, especially as we couldn’t visit him, but we knew Mahesh was in the best hands.
“One of the nurses even arranged for us to have a video call – he couldn’t communicate with us, but it really meant a lot – it was the first time we had seen him in over two weeks.”
Following time on the ITU, Mahesh was transferred to a standard ward and kept under close observation. After being tested for coronavirus for a second time and returning a negative result he was moved to a recovery ward and discharged shortly after.
Commenting on the care he received, Mahesh said: “The staff on all the wards were brilliant. I felt extremely lucky to be under such expert care. I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me and for the compassion they showed my family at what was an extremely difficult time for them.”
Mahesh is now recovering at home and monitoring his breathing closely: “I still have some symptoms, but I’m feeling better every day.
“I’m so grateful to the staff at Harefield that I’m back home with my wife and I hope the story of my ongoing recovery will bring hope to others.”