BY TOBY PORTER
Lying in intensive care, Clayton Jean-Charles had a vision of rollerskating in the park.
Two weeks later, he celebrated his discharge from hospital with a graceful and accomplished glide through Greenwich Park.
That’s how he rolls. Clayton, 55, from Grove Park, may not be performing a triple axel or double flip, but in his head, what he did was even more amazing.
He was gliding along the route taken by tourists and pioneering astronomers after recovering from coronavirus.
The plumber was so inspired by the hospital’s medics, he is determined to retrain and do physiotherapy part-time.
He said: “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.”
Clayton had the symptoms of Covid-19 – high temperature, extremely sore throat, shortness of breath – so stayed at home and self-isolated, but his temperature got worse and he developed a fever and began to hallucinate.
His wife contacted NHS 111 and, after nine days at home, he was taken to University Hospital Lewisham by ambulance on April 11.
He was admitted to a ward and put on oxygen, but was moved to the intensive care unit when he became even more unwell, so he could be put on a breathing machine. He was then moved to Cherry Ward, the cardiology unit, when he started to feel a bit better.
Eventually, after almost three weeks in hospital, he was able to go home on April 29.
He said: “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.
“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 have been truly inspired by how wonderful the physiotherapists were, and am now determined to train to do part-time physiotherapy work.”
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