Britain’s longest-suffering coronavirus patient has been moved to a recovery ward after battling the disease for 130 days.
Fatima Bridle, 35, is hoping to be reunited with her husband Tracy, 56, within weeks after spending four months apart.
Mrs Bridle fell unwell after flying back from a month-long trip to Mohammedia, Morocco, on March 6, the Sun on Sunday reported.
While her husband suffered the symptoms first, Mrs Bridle had to be rushed to Southampton General Hospital on March 12.
She is now able to talk more and can take trips out using her walker to gradually build her strength after spending 105 days on a ventilator.
Of the nurses who cared for her, she said: ‘They are incredible — I would like to thank every one of the doctors and nurses who have given me a chance of a new life. I am happy to be here. It feels like a dream.’
Fatima Bridle, 35, is hoping to be reunited with her husband Tracy, 56, within weeks after spending four months apart
By March 18, after several days of antibiotics failed, she was moved into intensive care. She spent 40 days in a coma battling pneumonia, coronavirus and sepsis.
She had a lavage tube inserted into her mouth a saline solution was used to flush out her lungs.
Soon her ability to breath increased to 40 per cent as her health dramatically improved. It is now at 70 per cent.
The couple have ruled out speaking on FaceTime because they both find it too emotional to talk through a screen after so much time apart.
Tonight Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was ‘absolutely thrilled’ by news of Fatima’s recovery. He added: ‘It proves that no matter who you are, the NHS is there for you and your family.’
Ex-soldier Tracy said of his wife: ‘She’s my medical miracle. To be on a ventilator that long and survive is extraordinary. I can’t wait to see her again.’
By the end of April Fatima was free of Covid, but still had pneumonia. The next month she was supported by a ventilator but not totally reliant on it.
Her husband said: ‘The first words she said were, “I want to speak to my Tracy.” She didn’t know what had happened or realise how long she’d been there.’
One of Fatima’s lungs collapsed so she will never be able to breath at full capacity again.
The couple have ruled out speaking on FaceTime because they both find it too emotional to talk through a screen after so much time apart
Tracy, who met Fatima online in 2016 and has four children from other relationships, said the couple had travelled back from Morocco without checking the news.
They had no idea of the increasing threat of coronavirus as the disease rapidly spread across the world.
It comes as daily updates on coronavirus-related deaths have been suspended amid concerns the way fatalities are recorded may have exaggerated the toll in England by more than 4,000.
The UK recorded 40 coronavirus -associated deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths during the pandemic to 45,273.
There were 827 positive tests for the coronavirus across the UK on Saturday, while Scotland recorded 21 positive tests – the highest since June 21, when there were 26.
The UK recorded 40 coronavirus -associated deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths during the pandemic to 45,273
There were 827 positive tests for the coronavirus across the UK on Saturday, while Scotland recorded 21 positive tests – the highest since June 21, when there were 26
Data shows that the trend of deaths charted by when they actually happened (dotted blue line), not when the paperwork was finished, is significantly lower than the number of deaths being announced by the Department of Health (red line)
Dr Loke’s analysis shows that ‘all settings’ deaths (red bar) remain very high in England even as hospital deaths (blue bar) – which the Office for National Statistics says should make up two thirds of the total – have plummeted
The announcement posted on the Department for Health website regarding death statistics
Public Health England counts any death as Covid-related if the person had ever tested positive for the virus – even if they recovered from it months ago.
This has raised concerns that some who plainly did not die of the illness – for example, if they were killed by a road traffic accident long after a positive test – are being mis-recorded as Covid-19 deaths.
On Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock ordered a review of the way PHE counts coronavirus deaths, which is different to the way they are recorded in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
And yesterday the Department of Health and Social Care stopped publishing daily updates of Covid-19 deaths – underlying how seriously Ministers are taking the matter.
The gov.uk website said the numbers for Covid-19 ‘deaths in all settings’ were ‘not available’.
In a sign of growing tensions, PHE yesterday stuck to its guns and continued to publish the disputed daily deaths figure on its Covid-19 ‘dashboard’.
However, PHE also tweeted an analysis which calculated that, if England brought its way of calculating Covid-19 related deaths into line with the devolved administrations, its toll would fall by 4,149 deaths – or almost ten per cent.