NHS nurse with UK's first case of covid-related laryngitis discharged

‘We will overcome this’: NHS nurse given 50 per cent chance of survival with UK’s first case of coronavirus-related laryngitis gives rallying speech as she’s discharged from hospital

  • NHS nurse Nancy had the UK’s first diagnosed case of covid-related laryngitis
  • She was left fighting for her life on a ventilator and needed emergency surgery  
  • After four weeks recovering in Royal Free London hospital she was discharged 
  • Gave rallying speech to her colleagues and said she is ‘grateful and indebted’ 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A community nurse who was diagnosed with the UK’s first case of coronavirus-related laryngitis has insisted the NHS ‘will overcome’ the global pandemic. 

In tonight’s episode of BBC2 documentary Hospital: Fighting Covid-19, NHS nurse Nancy, from the UK, was left fighting for her life on a ventilator in Royal Free London’s ICU after contracting coronavirus, and needed an emergency operation to treat her condition, which the hospital had never seen before.

The mother, who was given a 50 per cent chance of survival, addressed her colleagues when she was discharged from the hospital after four weeks. 

NHS nurse Nancy who was the UK’s first diagnosed case of covid-related laryngitis, featured in BBC2 documentary Hospital: Fighting Covid-19. Pictured: Nancy leaving hospital 

The NHS nurse who said the virus ‘took control’ of her life, was unable to walk without assistance for three weeks. Pictured: Nancy before treatment

Giving a rallying speech to hospital staff, she said that after working for the NHS since the 1970s and ‘never having a day off sick’ she was ‘angry this stupid illness got her’ – but insisted she was ‘truly grateful and indebted’ to all those who helped her recover. 

As the hospital staff clapped, Nancy continued: ‘My colleagues, I want you to understand that I am truly, truly grateful. From the bottom of my heart. 

‘I have worked for the NHS since 1970. I’ve worked every day of my life and never taken a day off sick. So you can imagine how angry I am that this stupid illness got me.’ 

‘I want you all to know I am truly, truly grateful and indebted to so many of you, who have left your families so far away and you are here to help us. 

‘Please just hold on a little bit more, we will overcome this. And when we do, hopefully the NHS will be better for it. So I am truly grateful. I am proud to be a nurse.’

The mother gave a tear-jerking speech to show her gratitude for the staff who nursed her back to health. Pictured: Nancy preparing to leave hospital 

Nancy (pictured) went to the Royal Free Hospital after she began feeling unwell. She had no idea ‘of the parameters’ she was dealing with at the time

The documentary showed Nancy ahead of being discharged, after being taken off ventilation and into the ward for recovery, where she was unable to even walk without assistance for three weeks. 

 She said that the virus ‘took control’ of her life immediately, admitting that she had ‘no idea’ of the ‘parameters she was dealing with at the time.’ 

‘On that weekend I felt unwell and I went to the Royal Free’, explained Nancy. ‘Before you knew it, I’d lost control of my life and that was scary for me. I had no idea of the parameters I was dealing with, I knew I was not in control’.

Dr. Sanjay Bhgani, who treated Nancy, said that after a patient has come off a ventilator, it is by no means the end of their illness, with many taking weeks to recover fully. 

Dr. Sanjay Bhgani, who treated Nancy (pictured), revealed that they were looking at a 50-60 per cent of death chance 

He explained some of the challenges facing the illness and how little we know about it currently, before revealing how procedures changed based on Nancy’s treatment.  

‘Nancy went from casualty straight through to the intensive care unit and we were saying look there’s a 50, 60% chance of dying,’ he said.

‘That was our first example of something we hadn’t seen with a viral infection before which is loads of swelling of the larynx.

‘And on that basis the whole of the intensive care have changed the way they work and so they always put down now smaller tubes than required as they know there will be swelling of the larynx so we learned a lot from looking after Nancy.’

Dr. Sanjay Bhgani said they hadn’t seen lots of swelling on the larynx from a viral infection before. Pictured: Nancy having physiotherapy 

Nancy who worked many years for the NHS without taking sick leave, urged her colleagues to hold on a little while longer. Pictured: Nancy leaving hospital 

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