Coronavirus: Survivor’s family describes ‘terrible days’ of coma worry

Hugh MullallyImage copyright Family photo
Image caption Hugh Mullally is recovering from home after 27 days being treated in hospital

The wife of a coronavirus survivor who has diabetes has described the “terrible days” she endured fearing he would suffer fatal organ failure.

IT consultant Hugh Mullally, 65, from Bath, who was sedated and placed on a ventilator for 10 days, had faced a 50/50 chance of survival.

His wife Karen said: “Every day and every hour was agony.”

Fortunately, Mr Mullally was eventually discharged from the Royal United Hospital (RUH) after 27 days.

He started to feel ill the day after coming home from a business trip to Amsterdam.

‘Really scared’

“I felt shattered. For the first couple of days I was working remotely but I found that really difficult,” he said.

“I just deteriorated during the course of the week.”

On 19 March, he went into hospital and was given 10 minutes’ notice he would be sedated and placed on a ventilator.

At that stage he was also told he faced a four per cent chance of not regaining consciousness.

“He’d gone into a world that wasn’t the world that we were in,” Mrs Mullally said.

“It was shocking, I was really dazed about it and I was obviously really scared.”

Mr Mullally feared he would die and said “it was horrible”.

“I subsequently discovered that it wasn’t four percent, actually my chances were more like 50/50 which Karen became aware of over the days,” he said.

“I was in a coma so I had no idea what was going on, but it was terrible for Karen and the children.”

It took him two days to come out of sedation.

‘Celebrate with gin’

“It felt like a really joyous day [when he did], but then we had a few days worrying about his kidneys,” said Mrs Mullally.

“He suffered an acute kidney injury as a consequence of the virus so it looked like he had to go on dialysis.

“But when he came out of the coma we all had a collective sigh of relief.”

Her husband was discharged on 15 April, and his kidneys have not sustained permanent damage.

His family has thanked the “brilliant NHS” and Mr Mullally said he was now looking forward to a “proper” gin and tonic to celebrate his recovery.

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