Granddad, 84, who survived being hit by a truck, six hip replacements and CANCER fights off COVID-19 – and says he had no symptoms for 11 weeks
- An 84-year-old grandfather spent 11 weeks contagious with COVID-19
- He claims to have never developed symptoms of the deadly respiratory virus
- Wally Bridges contracted the virus while in hospital where cluster broke out
- He was roomed with four other COVID-19 carriers – two of them died in the room
- Mr Bridges previously survived cancer, truck accident and six hip replacements
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
An 84-year-old grandfather spent 11 weeks contagious with COVID-19 despite having no symptoms – after he survived cancer, six hip replacements and getting hit by a truck.
Wally Bridges was a patient at a hospital in Burnie, north-west Tasmania when there was an outbreak following exposure to the coronavirus-stricken Ruby Princess cruise ship.
He became one of at least 114 confirmed cases after authorities tested more than 1,200 healthcare workers and every patient in the hospital who could have been exposed to the virus.
Mr Bridges never showed any symptoms of the deadly respiratory infection, and said if he had been discharged following treatment for a bladder infection, he may have remained none the wiser.
Wally Bridges was a patient at a hospital in Burnie, north-west Tasmania when there was an outbreak following exposure to the coronavirus-stricken Ruby Princess cruise ship
Instead, the grandfather-of-20, and soon to be great-grandfather, was transferred to Mersey Hospital and housed with four other patients with COVID-19.
Two of them died in the room.
‘That really got me,’ he told The Mercury. ‘Seeing them wheeled out. But I was never sick. I had no symptoms of the virus whatsoever.’
He said the staff that cared for him were constantly dressed head to toe in protective equipment, and he was never allowed to see his wife of 38 years, Jill.
The whole experience made him ‘feel like a leper’, though the couple maintain they were concerned about what could have happened if he were free to return home.
After close to three months of repeated positive tests, Mr Bridges returned two negative tests in a row and was discharged to head home
‘Its so contagious, and especially with children there are no symptoms,’ Ms Bridges said.
After close to three months of repeated positive tests, Mr Bridges returned two negative tests in a row and was discharged to head home.
His wife said she wasn’t surprised he survived the deadly disease, which has killed 435,000 people globally.
‘He’s like an old boot,’ she said. ‘He doesn’t wear out, he just keeps on going… He’s like an old soldier.’
Prior to this, Mr Bridges survived six hip replacements – including one which became so infected he was left without a hip for 10 months.
But he found a workaround, converting his golf buggy into a scooter to zip around town until one day, on his way to get a coffee, he was run over by a truck.
That incident left him with a broken leg and a spiral fracture. Doctors had to cut five centimetres from the leg to fit another hip.
He also survived bladder cancer more than 20 years ago and is currently living with heart conditions and an aortic aneurysm.
The flu-like virus, which spawned in Wuhan, China in December 2019, is more severe in older people because their immune systems are generally weaker.
Prior to this, Mr Bridges survived six hip replacements – including one which became so infected he was left without a hip for 10 months