Man who spent 60 days in Blackpool hospital with Covid dies at home three months later

Roehl Ribaya leaving hospital in Blackpool Credit: Blackpool Hospital

A Covid patient who survived for months under intensive care in Blackpool hospital before being discharged has died at home.

Roehl Ribaya, who spent 60 days in the Intensive Care Unit with coronavirus, brought smiles to Lancashire when he was discharged from Blackpool Victoria in July.

At the time Roehl, from Lytham, was the last patient on the Blackpool ICU with the virus and his discharge was seen as the end of the pandemic's first wave.

His story was shared across the country after the 47-year-old was declared COVID-19 free and moved to a general ward for rehab. Despite his release, and after surviving 48 days on a ventilator at Blackpool Victoria, Roehl died on October 15 while at home.

Roehl with hospital staff on the ICU. Credit: Blackpool Hospital

His friend, Angela Delabajan, paid tribute to Roehl online and has set up a GoFundMe page to support his family in their hour of need.

She said: "He survived months of being intubated without friends or family by his side. But the war was far from over.

"Despite being declared COVID-free, he suffered the long term effects of the virus. His life never went back to normal. Breathing became difficult.

Covid-19 is a silent killer. It has stolen the lives of many fathers, mothers, children and friends. Your support will surely give hope and comfort to his wife and son who also contracted the virus on its first wave and are not only struggling with the after effects of the virus like Roehl did, but are also coping with the pain of suddenly losing a loving husband and a caring father.

Angela Delabajan, Roehl's friend


Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, also paid tribute to Roehl.He said: “We were extremely saddened to hear about the death of Roehl and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.’’

Father-of-one Roehl was discharged from the ICU unit at Blackpool Victoria on July 29. The aerospace engineer was wheeled out of the ICU ward to the applause of staff who had worked to save his life. At the time Roehl was full of praise for the nurses on doctors on thecoronavirus ward saying "there are no words to describe what they have done for me."

Roehl was then moved to a general unit before being discharged completely and sent home. On October 13 he suffered a cardiac arrest in his home and slipped into a coma before dying two days later.