A radiology administrator from Nottinghamshire has thanked her NHS colleagues for saving her life after she became infected by the coronavirus and had to spend 16 days in intensive care.
She said: “The care and compassion has been exceptional, all staff from nurses, doctors, carers, therapists, and everyone else has been so caring and compassionate. From ED to ICU to ward 43 [the COVID-19 ward].”
Before being discharged, Mrs. Stephenson said: “I’m so excited to be going home, I haven’t seen my family for nearly a month, and I can’t wait to see my children and my husband.
“Being an employee of the Trust and seeing the teams in action makes me so proud of the care delivered by SFH [Sherwood Forest Hospitals] staff and I am immensely proud to be part of that team, delivering care in a kind and compassionate way, with humour and a smile.”
As she left the hospital this week, her colleagues stood and applauded. Nurse Justin Wyatt, who helped to care for Mrs. Stevenson, said: “It’s so tough when you see patients struggling and unable to see their families at this worrying time, but I am so pleased that our teams have been able to ensure that Karen still got to see and talk to her family over the phone. We do everything we can to make our patients comfortable and to make sure they don’t feel isolated whilst on the wards.”
He added: “We wish Karen and her family all the best in her recovery and look forward to seeing her again at work once she is fit, well and fully recovered.”
Karen Stevenson was first taken to hospital with suspected coronavirus on March 27; she said: “I had been unwell for days at home and hadn’t been able to get out of bed. I had a fever, tight chest and shortness of breath. So I knew I wasn’t right.”
As her condition worsened, Mrs. Stevenson asked her husband to call an ambulance; she said: “I can remember going to the Emergency Department and to x-ray, but I can’t remember going to the ward prior to intensive care. My next memory is being told that I would be sedated and ventilated.”
One of our employees, Karen Stevenson who is an SFH Administrator in Radiology is thanking the Trust after receiving care that has helped her survive Coronavirus – https://t.co/UTTBRgMFlZhttps://t.co/gmAXUPyzUq— Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS FT (@SFHFT) April 22, 2020
She revealed: “I called my husband and made arrangements with him in case I didn’t make it through.”
After 16 days in ICU, Mrs. Stevenson was moved to a ward, which was specifically being used to care for patients with COVID-19.
She said: “I can remember going onto the ward and I was still on a high dose of oxygen, I was very weak and unable to raise my arms, I was pretty much bedridden and unable to swallow normal foods and fluids, so I needed a different diet.”
Karen continued to get better over the following weeks, walking on her own, eating and drinking normally and coming off oxygen, before being allowed to go home to fully recover with the help of her family.