Covid patient thanks medics for giving him “second chance” at life

A Covid patient has thanked medics for his “second chance at life”, one year on from needing intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital last Easter.

Mike Bainbridge, of Ponton Road in Nine Elms, tested positive in April 2021 after losing his sense of taste and smell on Good Friday. Just days later he was on life support.

The 45-year-old started suffering from flu-like symptoms at home, but his condition deteriorated after a week of being unwell.

The Amazon web services employee said: “After a week of suffering from a temperature, feeling run down and not getting any better, my wife bought a pulse oximeter online and my oxygen levels measured 85 per cent, which was far too low.

“She called an ambulance and after a few tests, I was taken to A&E at St Thomas’ Hospital (in Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth). That’s the last thing I really remember, until I woke up on intensive care a few days later.”

Mike later found out from his family and staff on the intensive care unit (ICU) that he was ventilated and put on a life support machine to keep his heart and lungs working for four days.

After being taken off life support, Mike spent a further five days recovering in ICU, and then a week on a general ward.

Mike said: “My memory is quite fuzzy of being in St Thomas’, but all of the staff were amazing.

“I owe them my life. What they do on a daily basis is incredible – such a selfless approach to caring for another person during a pandemic.”

Mike then returned home with his wife, and took a couple of weeks off work to recuperate.

He said: “In a follow-up appointment last September, a scan of my lungs showed no lasting damage, which was such a relief and I know I’m very fortunate.

“I was shown an x-ray taken of my lungs when I was admitted to hospital, and it looked like cotton wool as there were so many blood clots in my lungs.

“It took me a couple of months for my energy levels to return as I found walking around my flat tiring, whereas before I caught Covid I enjoyed running and cycling.

“I slowly increased my fitness routine to build up my strength. In November I managed to complete a 5km run every day. I’m so incredibly grateful for all of the staff at St Thomas’ – they’ve given me a second chance at life as things could have gone so very differently.”

Katie Susser, critical care recovery nurse lead at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “Mike’s recovery has been exceptional, and it’s so rewarding to hear that only eight months after being so critically unwell, he got back to work, and has been able to return to his hobbies and keeping fit.”

Pictured top: Mike pictured with his wife

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