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Leighton Hospital's First Ventilated Coronavirus Patient is Discharged

Paula Grocott
Paula (right) was the first patient discharge from Leighton who was on ventilation for coronavirus

A nurse from Leighton Hospital has given her unending thanks to her colleagues after her fiancée was discharged from hospital after becoming seriously unwell with Coronavirus.

Paula Grocott, 50, an Admin Manager at The Northwich Community Care Hub had been experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus for a few days. But when her temperature soared and she began to complain of severe pain in her back and side her fiancée Rebecca, knew something was seriously wrong.

Rebecca said, “I called NHS 111 and they advised that I take Paula to A&E at Leighton Hospital straight away. I took her in and that was the last time I saw her for 14 days.”

Whilst Rebecca self-isolated at their home, Paula was admitted into hospital and after her condition deteriorated suddenly she was transferred to the Critical Care Unit and placed on a ventilator for nine days.

“The situation was so frightening and for Paula to be on her own made it all the more difficult for us all. We would normally have been right there with her at every step but knowing how incredible everyone at Leighton Hospital is, I knew she was in the best possible place. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff in Critical Care and their support was amazing

Once Paula was well enough to be taken off the ventilator she was transferred to the very ward that her fiancée would ordinarily have been working on and with 40 years’ service at the Trust between them, Paula was a familiar face to many of the ward staff.

“It was a real rollercoaster of emotion for everyone involved but the team on Ward 5 are the very best at what they do. They made sure Paula knew I was always thinking of her and would watch as she wiggled her toes any time my name was mentioned.”

Paula left hospital on April 22nd and is now recuperating at her Northwich home with Rebecca’s support. Her discharge was marked by staff who lined the corridor to applaud her as she left, an emotional moment which both Paula and Rebecca will treasure.

The couple are now looking to the future and the wedding they have planned for later in the year.

“It’s early days and Paula has a long road ahead of her but she’s doing well. It’s been a really traumatic time for us, we never thought she’d be as poorly as she was and it happened so quickly. It will take time for her to mentally process what she has been through and the hospital has been great in providing psychological support as we continue to support her recovery.

“The care we received has been outstanding and we can never repay everyone for what they have done; they have been magnificent. We have never been so proud to say we work for the Trust.”