Patient Transport Ambulance driver Nigel Fitzmaurice 57, who works out of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s (EEAST) Weeley station, returned home yesterday (14th July) following a five-week battle with the COVID-19 virus.
Nigel, 57, first fell ill on Monday 8th June, after both he and his partner had experienced the virus ‘in a small way’.
His partner Lisa Oldershaw – also a Patient Transport Driver who works out of Clacton – said Nigel went upstairs to get a shave before watching a film and started coughing suddenly.
“I kept an eye on him and was not happy,” she said.
“I called a paramedic to get advice and when I explained his heart rate and the other observations I’d made, he told me to call 999.”
At 10.20 pm he was taken to Colchester Hospital and admitted to intensive care the next day.
By the following Sunday, Lisa was told that despite being given two different trial drugs to combat the virus, there was no more they could do – and it was possible that he might never regain consciousness.
His last chance was a transfer to Royal Papworth Hospital for therapy on an Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine.
This machine is similar to the heart-lung bypass machines used for open-heart surgery.
There are very few in the country, and patients have to be carefully assessed before being allocated to one of the precious spaces.
Nigel’s age was against him as space on the machines is usually assigned to younger people with a higher chance of survival, but when Lisa told staff at Papworth he was generally very active and fit, it was decided to give him a chance.
On arrival, it was discovered that Nigel had also suffered a brain bleed, which caused complications with the blood-thinning drugs he needed to be given.
It was estimated that he would have to spend 4-6 weeks on the ECMO machine, but within ten days Nigel had recovered consciousness, and he was soon able to be transferred back to Colchester Hospital for further recuperation.
He has now been discharged home to Clacton on Sea.
“Nigel is still on oxygen, but we’re getting there. It’s amazing what he has done in five weeks.
“The specialist said that there were people who had spent 60 days on the ECMO machine, but he recovered within ten days and within five weeks of feeling ill, has been able to come home.
“We would like to thank the two paramedics, who acted very professionally and quickly to get Nigel to Hospital, and also the staff at Colchester and Royal Papworth Hospitals – without their care, he would not be here today.”
If you have a story you want to tell, or video you want to share, send it to Emergency Services News via firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: David Kent
Can you help Emergency Services News?
We when set our website up in November 2018, we had a straightforward mission: to bring our readers factual stories, which are free from negative bias but which are enriched with qualified experience.
Each member of our in-house team of writers has served in either the armed forces, emergency services or NHS.
This means that we can bring our readers not only the stories which matter but also stories without the negative spin.
But we cannot do this without your help. As ad revenue – the staple income of most publishers – continues to fluctuate, then we need the help of our supporters and readers more than ever.
Become a donor: You can make a one-off or reoccurring donation via Paypal. CLICK HERE to become a donor
We would like to thank you in advance for your continued support.
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of our readers.
And remember, if you have a service, product or job vacancy that you would like to promote to our large readership, then you can buy advertising space in our articles.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.