A man who spent three weeks at Lewisham Hospital with COVID-19 is now back roller skating just two weeks after being discharged from intensive care.
Clayton Jean-Charles, aged 55, was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Lewisham when his symptoms deteriorated after nine days of being unwell.
“After experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 – high temperature, extremely sore throat, shortness of breath – I stayed at home and self-isolated, but my temperature got worse and I developed a fever.
“My wife contacted NHS 111 when the fever got worse: I was starting to hallucinate and felt terrible,” he says.
After not improving with oxygen treatment, Clayton was then moved into intensive care and put on a CPAP machine to help him breathe before later being moved to a cardiology ward after beginning to recover.
Three weeks later he was able to go home – on April 29.
“There were two things that really kept me going while I was in hospital – wanting to see my family and four girls again, and the encouragement of all the staff,” he says.
“They all worked so hard, and treated patients with such compassion and care. It was so inspiring.
“I cannot describe how amazing the staff were, and am welling up a bit just thinking about it.
“It was a life-changing experience to witness the grace, kindness and understanding of all the doctors, nurses, physios and other healthcare staff.
“I looked forward to seeing them every day and they were so positive and caring.
“The physios gave me exercises to help me get back to normal and were incredibly patient and positive.
“I work as a plumber, but have been truly inspired by how wonderful the physiotherapists were and am now determined to train to do part-time physiotherapy work. It really has been a life-changing experience.
“I still have a bit of a way to go to get back to full health, the fact that I was well enough to go roller-skating in the park less than two weeks after being discharged shows how much better I am.
“I sent a short film of myself roller-skating to the staff who treated me to say thank you. I really can’t thank them enough; they are amazing.”
And here he is now: