Shropshire Covid survivor planning wedding after spending 100 days in hospital

He beat the odds to stay alive after 102 days battling coronavirus in hospitals across Shropshire - and now Paul Hodgskin is enjoying the festive period with his partner Sue Dhingra.

Glad to have survived – Paul Hodgskin is enjoying a special Christmas with his partner Sue Dhingra, with a wedding planned
Glad to have survived – Paul Hodgskin is enjoying a special Christmas with his partner Sue Dhingra, with a wedding planned

The couple are looking forward to getting married in the new year after initially having their plans cancelled during the pandemic.

And today Paul spoke of his wish that his story will remind people of the need to stay careful as we again face spiralling infection levels.

The 64-year-old, who spent Christmas at his home in Shifnal, caught the virus in March, first noticing his taste had changed when he ate a pizza which tasted like cardboard.

More Covid-19 coverage:

After he started vomiting and his temperature spiked at around 41 degrees, he was taken to Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

A day later the father-of-three was put into an induced coma and placed on a ventilator, with his loved ones warned over Easter that his chances of survival were just 10 per cent.

WATCH the moment Paul returned home:

Paul remained on a ventilator and it wasn’t until May 29 that he could leave the intensive therapy unit, with staff cheering and clapping as he was wheeled out. He was then transferred to the renal unit at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital due to problems with his kidneys, which had stopped working when he suffered multiple organ failure over Easter.

He spent another month there until being transferred to Bridgnorth Community Hospital on June 25 for physical rehabilitation.

Finally making it home in July, he said he owed his life to the doctors and nurses who cared for him.

“I feel very lucky and I’m very happy to be here,” said Paul, who was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the UK in 2007.

Fatigued

“Medically I’m fine, it’s just physical now. I’ve got physiotherapy to do. I get fatigued very easily, but it’s not as bad as it was.

“When I first came back I was on a zimmer frame. They replaced that with an aluminium walking stick and I now have a wooden stick.

“I realise how difficult it must have been at home and not being able to visit me in hospital. I know everyone is so grateful to the staff.”

Paul also urged people not to take the virus lightly, adding: “Whenever I can I will tell people my whole story because there’s so many people out there that don’t believe coronavirus is true. They think it’s a big hoax.

"When I tell them my story, they say ‘I didn’t realise it was as bad’. I feel I’m doing my bit when I tell them what happened – 102 days is a long time.”

Speaking about future plans, he said: “We were going to get married in August but I was hardly walking then. We’re hoping to do it in the new year now.”

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