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Ashford man recovers voice by singing Rod Stewart after Covid-19 ordeal

A grandfather who lost his voice while being treated for COVID-19 says that he managed to get it back with a little help from Rod Stewart.

Stephen Robinson was in an induced coma at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford for 16 days and could not speak or swallow when he came round.

Stephen Robinson with his wife Sarah and daughters Beki and Gabbi
Stephen Robinson with his wife Sarah and daughters Beki and Gabbi

The keen amateur musician practised singing techniques he had learned before he was ill and re-discovered his voice.

He revealed his recovery to his wife Sarah in an emotional video call.

She said: “When I saw a call from Kelly, the nurse on ITU, at 8am I thought it would be bad news.

“But she just said listen to this, and passed it to Steve, and he started singing the Rod Stewart song with the first line ‘I can tell by your eyes that you’ve probably been crying forever’.

“It was the first time he had made any sound since coming around from his coma, and it was such a special moment.”

Mr Robinson couldn't talk, swallow or walk after waking from his induced coma
Mr Robinson couldn't talk, swallow or walk after waking from his induced coma

Mr Robinson, who turned 62 the day after he was admitted to the hospital in his home town, developed a secondary infection during his stay which saw his temperature reach 44 degrees at one point.

He spent three weeks in intensive care and a further week on a ward before he was discharged home to his worried family in Ashford.

He said: “It has been a tough time. I still get fatigued, but I can walk around now and go upstairs, and I’ve been out for a short walk.

“I just can’t believe I’m here. I consider myself very lucky to be here and talking to everyone.

“When I first woke up I was mouthing the words but no sound was coming out. But I practised what I had been taught and that morning I put my hand on my stomach to feel my diaphragm and just went for it.”

Mr Robinson was treated at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford
Mr Robinson was treated at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford

The grandad of one, and father to Beki and Gabbi, first developed a high temperature at the end of March, which lasted for more than a week.

He also lost 12kg while in hospital, and had to learn how to walk again.

He said: “The medical staff, especially Kelly the nurse, were pivotal to my recovery. I call her my guardian angel.

“The staff were so brave, caring, skilled and empathetic. They were incredibly patient and considerate to my wife and daughters who phoned the unit three or more times a day to check on my progress.

“They saved my life. Words cannot express how grateful my family and I are for the care I received on ITU."

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