Meet some of the Welsh coronavirus survivors giving hope to others

It can be difficult to stay positive amidst a global pandemic. The heartbreaking stories of coronavirus patients who have died, or are fighting for their lives in intensive care, make for deeply upsetting reading.

But there have also been some remarkable tales of people recovering from coronavirus - often against the odds. Here are some of them.

The 'unresponsive' great-grandfather with Parkinson's disease and dementia

Brian Davies, pictured with his wife and great-grandaughter, recovered from coronavirus. Credit: Jodanna Beynon

Swansea great-grandfather Brian Davies was put on end-of-life care in April after contracting Covid-19.

Mr Davies, who also has Parkinson's disease and dementia, lay unresponsive in a hospital bed, with his family preparing for the worst.

But in a "massive U-turn", Mr Davies recovered from the virus and celebrated his 90th birthday in hospital.

His granddaughter Jodanna Beynon said: "When we phoned for an update, we were told he was sitting up in bed and had eaten three bowls of ice cream. We were all in disbelief and the nurses were gobsmacked. My gran called it an Easter miracle."

The husband given a 50/50 chance of living or dying

Andrew Jenkins (L) was given a 50 per cent chance of pulling through.

Andrew Jenkins from Port Talbot spent days in intensive care after contracting coronavirus and was given a 50/50 chance of survival.

His husband Gary Jones-Jenkins said being told the news over the phone was the worst call he had ever received.

He added: "When you get told about this 50/50 chance, you sit there and just think: I can't let him die. I can't lose him."

But Mr Jenkins pulled through and became the first Covid-19 patient to be discharged from intensive care at the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend.

Husband Gary, who has been with Mr Jenkins for more than two decades, urged others to stay positive, as people can and do recover from the disease.

The firefighter reunited with his family after being in intensive care

This is the amazing moment firefighter Steve Landon was reunited with his four children. Credit: Landon family

Firefighter Steve Landon, from Wrexham, spent weeks in hospital with coronavirus - including three stints in intensive care.

The "exhausted but determined" 39-year-old was finally able to come home to his wife Becky and their four children, Caleb, Evie, Abigail and Seth.

His wife Becky said: "It's been a relentless rollercoaster but Steve has fought.

"He said that one night he had no fight left and he could feel his life slipping away. He truly believes it was the army of people praying and fighting on his behalf that brought him through.

"We will keep believing in a total miracle."

The dad who spent three weeks in a coma

Simon Dempsey is back home with his wife Sarah Jane and their daughter.

Simon Dempsey needed to be incubated and put in an induced coma while staff worked around the clock to save him.

The 43-year-old, from Cilfynydd, near Pontypridd, spent almost three weeks in intensive care with the virus.

He was cheered out of the hospital by those who had cared for him and is now back at home with his family.

Like many others, Mr Dempsey says he owes his life to the NHS doctors and nurses who saved him.

He also urged people to adhere to public health guidelines, admitting: "In all honesty, I didn't think I'd get it - but this can affect anybody."

The first Covid-19 patient discharged from Royal Gwent Hospital ICU

One consultant said Scott Howell was 'as ill as anybody can be'. Credit: Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Scott Howell was the first Covid-19 patient to be discharged from intensive care at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.

The 48-year-old, from Wyllie, near Blackwood, had been in a coma and his heart had stopped twice.

One intensive care consultant at the hospital said Mr Howell was "as ill as anybody can be".

His recovery was described as a "massive lift" for staff across the health board, and a video of hospital workers applauding as he left has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times online.

He has now returned home to his wife and four children, adding: "The care I've received has allowed me to be a husband and father again."

The Welsh comedian who thanked the NHS for saving his son's life

Mike Doyle now hopes to raise money for the NHS by way of thanks. Credit: Mike Doyle

Welsh comedian Mike Doyle said the NHS has "given him his son back" after he recovered from coronavirus.

Tommy Doyle, 31, spent four weeks in intensive care after he returned home from working on a cruise ship as a lighting engineer in March.

When Mr Doyle shared news of his son's fight for life, thousands of messages of support for Tommy started flooding in on social media.

After nearly six weeks in hospital, Tommy returned home with his emotional family.

His father said they hope to raise money for the NHS in the coming months, adding: "How do you say thank you? There are just no words. They have given me my son back."

The first Covid-19 patient to leave intensive care at Prince Charles Hospital

NHS staff applauded as a 60-year-old coronavirus patient became the first to leave intensive care at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

Jeff Cope, from Merthyr Tydfil, was admitted to the hospital on 3rd April and was put on a ventilator.

Almost two weeks later, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board posted a video online of staff clapping Mr Cope, who is the father-in-law of Cardiff Blues rugby player Matthew Morgan.

In a touching moment, one member of staff takes what appears to be Mr Cope's wedding ring out of a container and places it back on his finger.

One of the UK's oldest patients to recover from coronavirus

Carrie Pollock recovered from coronavirus at 99 years old.

At 99, Carrie Pollock is thought to be one of the oldest Britons to recover from coronavirus.

Mrs Pollock now lives in Hampshire but is originally from Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen in Neath Port Talbot.

She praised the "wonderful" staff at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth for saving her life.

Mrs Pollock said anyone who chooses to ignore the Government's advice about social distancing and non-essential travel is "foolish".

"I think they should adhere to it and take notice, because you never know whether you'll catch it or not," she added.

The patient given a 'guard of honour' as he left Prince Philip Hospital

Staff lined the corridors and gathered outside as Keith Chapman left hospital. Credit: Hywel Dda University Health Board

Coronavirus survivor Keith Chapman was given a 'guard of honour' by staff lining the corridors as he left Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

Mr Chapman, 59, spent more than two weeks in their care and even helped trial a new ventilator.

He described how nurses took it in shifts so someone was continuously sat at his bedside to monitor his breathing.

Mr Chapman said leaving hospital to cheers, claps and bells ringing was overwhelming, adding: "I will forever be in their debt.

"I class myself as one of the lucky ones, because not everybody will make that journey."

Mr Chapman continues to recover at home in Llanelli.

The ten-year-old girl who was seriously ill in hospital with coronavirus

Ten-year-old Calli Bridges did not display the typical coronavirus symptoms. Credit: Rachel Bridges

Ten-year-old Calli Bridges spent five days at the University Hospital of Wales in April after contracting Covid-19.

Calli, from Cardiff, had a high temperature but no cough or sore throat. Instead, she was experiencing vomiting and stomach pains.

A swab test in hospital returned a positive result for coronavirus, though her family have no idea how she picked it up.

Her mum Rachel wants to warn people that not everyone displays the same symptoms, and that it is not only vulnerable groups or the elderly at risk.

Rachel said: "She was so poorly, I've never seen her so ill. It’s probably been the most scary time of my life. Massive thanks and respect to our amazing NHS."

The grandfather and nurse who were first to leave Morriston Hospital

A grandfather and a charge nurse became the first two coronavirus patients to leave intensive care at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

A video shows Danny Egan, 73, and David Courtney-Williams, 48, being clapped and cheered by hospital staff.

One ward sister said: “They were extremely unwell and were ventilated for quite a while in intensive care."

Mr Egan, a retired service engineer, said the first thing he planned to do upon leaving hospital was to give his wife a kiss.

Nurse director Mark Madams said recovery stories lifted the spirits of staff who have seen tough times.

“Obviously there have been some very sad outcomes," he added.

"All of the clinical teams really feel each and every one of them."