Survivor describes ‘harrowing’ battle against coronavirus

A man who was given hours to live after contracting Covid-19 has described his ‘harrowing’ time in hospital battling the disease and how he is still on the road to full recovery.

Geoffrey McKillop is back with his family after spending almost 40 days in hospital with coronavirus.

For more than two weeks of that the 57-year-old was on a ventilator - his life hanging in the balance.

“You're unconscious, in an induced coma and I remember absolutely nothing about it,” he tells UTV News.

“I was happy as Larry, in cuckoo land but the rest of the family were in turmoil.”

We actually were told, ‘expect the worst he could just slip away’.

Nicole Dallat, Geoffrey's partner

Geoffrey’s partner Nicole Dallat explains: “We were literally told when he was admitted to ICU that he had a 50% chance of living. They even rang London, they were going to fly a team over from London, but at that stage they felt that he was too far gone.”

“That night the nurses actually put a wee heart on his chest with a message from his daughter and son and all his family.”

“It's harrowing,” Geoffrey admits.

Nicole recalls that Geoffrey made a miraculous recovery that night.

Nurses laid a heart with a message from his family on Geoffrey as he hung in the balance fighting Covid-19.

Geoffrey commended his treatment at the Causeway Hospital as world class. He was clapped out by staff when he was discharged two weeks ago.

He currently remains on oxygen and is undergoing physiotherapy.

If I go to move, my lungs just totally deflate.

Geoffrey McKillop, coronavirus survivor

“If I go to move, my lungs just totally deflate, so that's a gradual process with constant oxygen at different levels at times of the day,” he says.

“Sitting here I'm fine, at a lower level, if i goto move, I've got to increase it six-fold.

He says he doesn’t know how long or if he will fully recover, but says “ I'm just glad to be alive, really”.

Geoffrey enjoyed another boost on his road to recovery.

“It was just before I came round in ICU, the nurses whispered it in my ear, that I'd become a grandfather, I saw him in real life yesterday for the second time,” he adds.

“Beautiful, again another perspective on life.”