A primary school teacher hit by a stroke had to undergo emergency brain surgery – but then suffered kidney failure and ended up on a ventilator with Covid-19.
Richard Studd, 54, is recuperating at home after making an incredible recovery from both coronavirus and the organ and brain trauma – which required emergency neurosurgery at King’s College Hospital.
Richard’s colleagues at school raised the alarm when he failed to turn up for work in March.
He was found unconscious at home in Beckenham and was taken to hospital where a CT scan revealed he had experienced a bleed in the pineal gland in the centre of his brain.
Richard was then rushed to theatre where he had an operation to relieve excess fluid in his brain.
Richard was recovering from the procedure when doctors told him that the routine Covid-19 swab taken on the day following his admission had tested positive.
Richard said: “I can only describe the experience as a terrible ordeal; there’s no doubt that I came very close to meeting my Maker.
“I don’t think I will ever forget the moment the doctor told me that the damage in my brain was healing – I could have cried with joy.
“I feel as though I have been handed another chance at life. The stroke left me with extreme fatigue, and I’ve had support from physiotherapy and occupational therapy to help me on the road to recovery.
“But one of the most important things I have is a positive attitude. I’m taking things one step at a time.”
Bassel Zebian, consultant neurosurgeon at King’s, said: “Richard became very unwell, and we all had major concerns that he may not make it through his illness. Just over a week after his admission he required a ventilator to breathe due to the effect Covid-19 had on his lungs.
“He also developed kidney failure and had to undergo dialysis. The whole team worked tirelessly to give Richard the best chance of survival. Richard also showed an incredible fighting spirit. I can confidently now say that he has made an excellent recovery.”
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