A grateful Covid-19 survivor’s family has launched a £10,000 appeal to buy rehabilitation equipment and create an outside space for recovering Intensive Care Unit patients and their visitors.
Ian Hawkins, aged 57, was admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital on 29 March after developing Covid-19 symptoms and experiencing breathing difficulties. Within 24 hours the father-of-two was placed on full ventilation and over the next few weeks he suffered pneumonia, sepsis, multiple-organ failure and a secondary bacterial infection.
Now, he has been able to leave ICU to continue his recovery and rehabilitation on a ward and is hopeful that he will be able to go home very soon. His recovery was filmed as part of a focus by ITV News on how the virus has affected Walsall’s community as a whole.
The footage showed Ian’s wife Helen, son and daughter Oliver and Georgia, and daughter-in-law Linda being able to see him through one of the unit’s windows. Oliver, whose daughter Mia – Ian’s first grandchild – was born during his first week in ICU, held the baby up to the window so that her grandfather could see her. And at one point Ian was able to have his bed outside to be reunited with his beloved dog Indi.
A Just Giving page https://bit.ly/3003Yzh has been set up by the Cannock family and has raised more than £3,300 so far.
Oliver said: “The remarkable ICU team at Walsall Manor managed to save dad’s life and he is now undergoing rehabilitation by learning to eat, drink and walk by himself.
“The emotional and physical trauma he has – and will continue to – experience, was only eased by his family’s ability to contact him via phone and see each other through a window. After weeks of turmoil and separation this brief interaction with family offered a short reprieve from the horrors of Covid-19 for both dad and his loved ones.
“In order to demonstrate our gratitude to the NHS staff and to ease the suffering for future families who may be separated by Covid-19, we have decided to set up a fundraising page to help raise money for Walsall Manor ICU. The money raised by this page will be used to buy much-needed rehabilition equipment for patients and to create a recreational outside area for visitation during this pandemic, which will also act as a therapeutic outdoor space for patients recovering in ICU beyond the pandemic.
“This is a cause which will impact the lives of many families who are experiencing the hardship of having a loved one in ICU and to improve the mental and physical rehabilitation of the patients.”
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Fundraising manager Georgie Westley said: “After spending an afternoon with Helen it was plain to see how much she felt she owed ICU for the care of Ian and how emotional but also full of praise she was when talking about the care he had received. This fundraising is fantastic and I know it means a lot not just to Helen and her family but also to ICU.”