A man who “battled for every breath” as he fought coronavirus has returned home and is “grateful to be alive”.
Hylton Murray-Philipson spent five of his 12 days at Leicester Royal Infirmary in intensive care.
He was given a guard of honour by staff when he was discharged on Friday.
“When you have battled for every breath, everything just feels incredible,” said the 61-year-old, who spent his birthday recovering on the ward.
‘I cried like a baby’
Mr Murray-Philipson was taken to hospital the day after his 92-year-old father died of non-coronavirus related illness, and watched the funeral from his hospital bed.
The farmer, from Market Harborough in Leciedstershire, said he had been “feeling unwell for a few days” with a temperature of about 40C (104F) and a cough, before he was admitted to intensive care.
“I was fighting for breath, I spent five days fighting for my life. There were moments of great distress, great panic.”
Mr Murray-Philipson was fed intravenously, given oxygen and medication while attached to a ventilator, then was moved to a ward to recover.
“The nurses [there] asked me what I would like for my birthday – when you have just come through a fight for your life it’s hard to think of something,” he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
“I told them I’d really like a shave. They agreed and I sat in the chair as they gave me a shave. After, they all stood around my bed with a piece of birthday cake with a candle in it.
“I cried like a baby, I was so overcome with emotion.”
The father of two was discharged on Friday to continue his recovery at home.
Andrew Furlong, medical director at Leicester’s hospitals, said they were discharging patients on a daily basis who had recovered from Covid-19.
“Our staff are providing amazing care and it’s a joy when we’re able to see patients well enough to leave our hospitals,” he said.