'Unresponsive' great-grandfather, 90, with dementia beats coronavirus

A Swansea great-grandfather with Parkinson's disease and dementia has beaten coronavirus.

Brian Davies, who celebrated his 90th birthday today, was put on end-of-life care after contracting Covid-19, with his relatives preparing for the worst.

But in what the family are calling an 'Easter miracle', Mr Davies recovered from the virus.

Brian and his wife Shirley, pictured a few years ago. Credit: Jodanna Beynon

Mr Davies has been a patient at Cefn Coed Hospital in Swansea since August last year.

At the beginning of April, staff noticed he had a temperature and he was moved to a specialist ward for coronavirus patients, where he subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Davies became unresponsive and the hospital called his relatives to tell them he was being put on palliative care.

His granddaughter Jodanna Beynon, 37, said the family were expecting the worst.

"It was not looking positive," she explained.

"They said he was going to be put on end-of-life care and that his breathing was shallow.

"He was unresponsive in bed. He couldn't talk or open his eyes."

Brian and Shirley have been married for 65 years and renewed their vows for their diamond wedding anniversary. Credit: Jodanna Beynon

Staff allowed Mr Davies' wife of 65 years, Shirley, to visit him to say goodbye, but she had to wear personal protective equipment and stay two metres away.

The rest of the family thought that they would never see him again.

Granddaughter Mrs Beynon added: "In normal circumstances he would have had family around his bed.

"He would have lived until nearly 90, and then to go on his own, with no family - that was the hardest to swallow."

On the morning of April 9th, the family were told that Mr Davies was unable to eat or drink and his body was failing.

But later that day they phoned for an update and were stunned to hear that he was sitting up in bed.

"They said he'd done a massive U-turn and had eaten three bowls of ice cream," added Mrs Beynon.

"We were all in disbelief and even the nurses couldn't believe it - they were gobsmacked. My gran called it an Easter miracle."

Mr Davies with some of his relatives. Credit: Jodanna Beynon

Mrs Beynon explained that staff at Cefn Coed Hospital are waiting for him to build his strength up further before moving him back to his original ward.

Since his health began improving, Mr Davies has even been able to speak and sing to his wife Shirley on the phone.

Mrs Davies, 84, said: "It was a horrendous week. We used to visit him every day but we haven't even been able to speak to him.

"I was in shock when I saw him. He was actually dying in front of us, but I am absolutely certain that hearing our voices gave him fight.

"I didn't think he would beat the coronavirus but it's absolutely wonderful news."

Brian Davies pictured in hospital today on his 90th birthday after recovering from Covid-19. Credit: Jodanna Beynon

Mr Davies spent his 90th birthday in hospital, but nurses gave him a special cake from wife Shirley, daughters Joanne and Janet, granddaughters Jodanna, Paige and Amber, and great-granddaughter Izobelle.

Mrs Davies with a special cake for her husband and wishing him happy birthday through the window. Credit: Jodanna Beynon