Published: 14:13, 13 January 2021
| Updated: 14:17, 13 January 2021
A father has thanked "amazing" NHS staff for saving his life after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 on Christmas Day.
Karl Gray, from Lordswood was rushed to Medway Maritime Hospital by ambulance following days of illness and severe coronavirus symptoms, including a temperature of 39 degrees.
The father-of-four was treated in hospital for 10 days before eventually returning home to enjoy a belated Christmas dinner with his partner and children.
Karl, 34, said: "It was a really scary time and at one point I didn’t think I was going to make it through, because I deteriorated very quickly.
"The worst moment came about three days into my hospital stay; at night, due to the drugs and breathing difficulties, I was suffering panic attacks to the extent where I didn’t even know where I was.
"Overall, the staff at the hospital were amazing, from the Emergency Department to the McCulloch Ward where I spent most of my time.
"They helped me during the real difficult periods and they got me through the worst of it. The nurses and other staff were always on hand to assist, especially with eating and drinking, and I started to improve thanks to their fantastic care.’’
Karl added: "With all of their help I was able to get back home to my loved ones and I am eternally grateful that they saved my life.
"They are amazing people, from the ambulance crew, through to all the staff working at the hospital.
"My partner also appreciated all the support and communication that she received while I was in hospital and unable to have visitors."
Karl, who works at Estate Agents Freeman & Gray, had been taking extra precautions since the start of the pandemic last year as he suffers from asthma.
He explained: "I’ve always been extremely careful with my hand hygiene, mask-wearing and other precautions – we even sanitise all of our shopping when it is delivered each week.
"But sadly the virus doesn’t pick or choose. After catching Covid-19 and seeing the terrible affects first hand, I really want to warn people about it and tell everyone to take the disease as seriously as they can.’’
James Devine, chief executive at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are all so pleased that Karl was able to return home to his family and we wish him a very happy new year and speedy recovery.
"We also really appreciate him taking the time out to leave such positive feedback about our colleagues who are working incredibly hard to provide brilliant care during one of the most challenging periods the NHS has ever faced."
Yesterday we reported how a Frindsbury mum confessed to thinking the virus had been exaggerated until she too fell seriously ill on Christmas Day and praised Medway hospital staff.
The hospital continues to be under severe pressure and more than half of the beds are occupied by patients with Covid.
Numbers seen by KentOnline confirmed almost 300 patients including 22 in critical care have tested positive as of Monday.
Almost 1,800 patients with Covid-19 have been discharged by Medway NHS Foundation Trust throughout the pandemic.
But latest figures confirm 580 people have died in the hospital after testing positive for coronavirus.