Lib Dem politician and Covid survivor reunites with consultant who helped save his life
Senedd candidate and former AM William 'Bill' Powell has been reunited with Intensive Care Consultant Ami Jones who was part of a team that saved his life.
In the first wave of coronavirus last year, William Powell spent more than four weeks in hospital being treated for Covid-19.
Dr Jones said his condition was extremely serious.
"He was sick enough to need ICU. He got Covid, which is a horrific illness and we always say if you end up in ICU on a breathing machine with Covid, you're sick enough to die. And at the time we thought it was pretty much 50/50, it was toss of a coin, will he live or will he die."
The pair were reunited during their first interview together on The New Normal podcast with Adrian Masters.
Speaking on the podcast, Mr Powell recalled a message he sent to his wife when he was first hospitalised last March.
"I referred to [the message] as my sort of final text saying 'I'm off to ICU now. Don't know where this is going...' I didn't see that then for three weeks or a month more actually when I was in the rehab."
Watch as William Powell and Dr Ami Jones meet for the first time since he left hospital:
After spending time in intensive care, Mr Powell began recovering and receiving rehabilitation.
He said: "To be honest I think I've been really fortunate in not experiencing what I've heard described as Long Covid, partly because of the quality of the subsequent three weeks in the closed rehab ward and the work that was started by a fantastic team of physios."
Mr Powell expressed his immense gratitude to Dr Jones and her colleagues.
"It's a massive, massive thank you... On my way out [of hospital] I wanted to try to leave a little gift and message at ICU for whoever was on. We called by there and then when I was wheeled out, down to the main entrance, the phenomenal gathering of people there which followed a wonderful."
Dr Jones organised a touching send off for Mr Powell when he left Nevill Hall Hospital, with NHS staff lining the corridors and clapping as he set off to go home.
Dr Jones said: "People like Bill are why we do this job. I didn't go into it to have loads of patients die and not do any good we went into ITU to save people like Bill who are going to have hopefully 30 to 40 good years ahead of them... We get something out of seeing our patients do well and go home so you know everyone rushed down, everybody wanted to be there and see."
Listen to the full interview in The New Normal with Adrian Masters podcast:
Mr Powell said he has been exercising regularly since leaving hospital so he can stay as fit and healthy as possible.
"I don't mind admitting I've been a bit of a gym dodger but now I've started my own exercise programme of 5K runs. I mean, run is a loose term, it's a mixture of walk, shuffle and run but I've been doing that between November and and yesterday morning, two or three times a week."
Dr Jones said there are still "quite a lot of patients" needing intensive care with coronavirus at the moment.
"Hopefully the end of this wave is gone and I think we have to learn lessons and make sure there's not a wave number three and hopefully vaccination is a huge part of that, that remains to be seen."
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