'They saved my life': Virus survivor’s thank you to NHS staff

A coronavirus survivor has described the kindness of NHS staff who saved her life.

From left; Dawn Lewis, Sara Lawley, Molly Hewitt and Nicola Lewis
From left; Dawn Lewis, Sara Lawley, Molly Hewitt and Nicola Lewis

Dawn Lewis spent 41 days at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton after being admitted back in March before being placed in an induced coma for four weeks.

The 57-year-old, from Calf Heath, in South Staffordshire, stayed in intensive care where she had a tracheostomy for a further few weeks until her condition improved and she was later moved to a respiratory ward until she was well enough to return home in May.

Her treatment now continues at home where she receives regular physiotherapy, as well as fatigue and pain management.

Close friend Molly Hewitt, 18, began to fundraise for The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust Charity to help Dawn thank the staff who cared for her.

Dawn said: “Staff at New Cross saved my life. It was an incredible scary thing to go through but the members of staff there were amazing, absolutely fantastic.

“I can’t sing their praises enough, and am so grateful to have received their care.

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“Thank you to the team in ICCU, the respiratory ward, physiotherapists and those in occupational health. I want to say a special thank you to Harriet White, who was there throughout my treatment on ICCU.”

Neighbours in Calf Heath welcomed Dawn home with music playing and a one lit a lantern to be placed at the end of her drive every evening. They also looked after her front garden during her treatment and weeded the paving.

As Dawn’s condition improved, a local pub, The Dog and Partridge was used for donations to be collected. The pub would also play music in the street so that people could enjoy socially distanced entertainment and further donations were made.

Molly added to the donations by holding a fundraiser in Iceland, Cannock, where she is employed. Iceland donated three prizes which were put on display at the front of the store. Molly hosted the fundraiser, selling tickets to her colleagues and customers.

Generosity

The fundraising total came to £790 which has been used to purchase two iPads for the trust to use for patients to keep in touch with their family and friends while visiting is still restricted.

Dawn also used the money raised to create a hamper of toiletry packs for patients, as she noted: “I relied on the generosity of the hospital and the donations they were receiving to be given toiletries during my treatment.”

Sara Lawley, an operational nurse manager on ICCU, said: “It’s a real honour to meet Dawn following her treatment, and for her to come back to bring us this lovely donation. We are very grateful to Dawn and Molly.”

Dawn added: “Recovery is a long road. I have had tests on my kidneys and I am also having on-going chest X-rays. I have breathing difficulties, pain in my joints and have experienced hair loss. My concentration and memory has also been affected.

“I didn’t realise quite how little strength I had after spending all that time in hospital so have had to learn to walk again. I have to do physio exercises little and often and plenty of rest.

“I could not have recovered as well as I have without the expert care and help of all the staff I have come across at the trust. A huge thank you.”

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