Shropshire Covid survivor finally says 'I do' after 102 days in hospital

A bridegroom who beat the odds to survive coronavirus has last tied the knot with his new bride.

Paul Hodgskin and Sue Dhingra tie the knot
Paul Hodgskin and Sue Dhingra tie the knot

Paul and Sue Hodgskin were married in front of their delighted family members after initially having their plans cancelled during the pandemic.

The 64-year-old, from Shifnal, caught the virus in March last year and ended up spending 102 days in the county's hospitals battling the disease.

But following his slow but steady recovery the pair say they are grateful for the opportunity to finally get the chance to say "I do" at St Bartholomew's Church, in Longdon upon Tern near Telford.

Paul said: "We had a lovely day. I still get tired after any exertion and the neurologist has old me that I have quite a way to go. I do find that get tired by lunch time and have to rest before anything else.

"Everyone in the intensive care units and in the NHS do a wonderful job. Without them so many people like me would not have survived Covid-19."

The happy couple celebrated with about 28 family members at the service led by the Reverend Ian Naylor, followed by a reception at The Ugly Duckling pub, in Long Lane.

Sue said it was the first time in 18 months that they had seen many of their relatives including a group from Bristol. Paul's daughters Laura and Chelsea, travelled from Wales and Kent respectively, while another daughter Danielle, who lives in Zimbabwe, and his brother Jeremy, who lives in Australia, were unable to make the journey due to the pandemic.

She added: "Almost everybody came including grandchildren. It was fabulous and relaxing day. We had a simple wedding, but the setting at the chapel was wonderful.

"We were so glad because our wedding almost didn't happen and we were conscious of that during the day.

"The granddaughters were the ring bearers and they took their duties very seriously."

Paul, originally from Zimbabwe, said he hoped that his story would remind everyone of the need to stay careful due to infection levels.

He first realised something was wrong when his taste had changed when he ate a pizza which tasted like cardboard. Shortly after that he began feeling unwell with his temperature spiking at around 41 degrees.

He was taken to hospital was put into an induced coma and placed on a ventilator, with his loved ones warned at Easter last year that his chances of survival were just 10 per cent.

However, he pulled through and despite suffering kidney problems he was able to be transferred to Bridgnorth Community Hospital for rehabilitation and finally returned home in July last year.

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