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A coronavirus patient in the U.K. who was in an induced coma for four weeks and placed on a ventilator had to have the pandemic explained to him when he woke up, his family said. Brian Harvey, 69, first came down with an illness and was admitted to Bristol Royal Infirmary in March, according to SWNS.
The following day, he was placed in an induced coma, and wasn’t diagnosed with COVID-19 until several days later, according to the outlet.
“Dad was in a coma for four weeks, and he didn’t respond for another week,” Faye Stapleton, Harvey’s daughter, told SWNS. “We had a horrific phone call from the doctor, where they were going to send him for brain scans. He was on a ventilator when they tried to wake him up. It’s been heart-wrenching.”
Harvey didn’t realize he had COVID-19 nor the full extent of the crisis that had unfolded while he was in a coma. The U.K. has seen over 248,000 cases of coronavirus, and more than 35,700 deaths. In Bristol, where there have been nearly 700 cases, schools were closed, waste services were suspended, and life as he had known it had shut down while he was sick.
“He didn’t even know about coronavirus when he woke up,” Stapleton told SWNS. “We had to explain to him that there was a virus out there, explain that everything was shut.”
Harvey, who was dubbed “Teflon Man” by staffers who were helping to care for him, started battling to get his health back and is now undergoing physical therapy to help him regain his strength. His daughter said when he FaceTimed family members, he was confused as to why they were so upset.
Patients who are 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions are considered to be most at risk for severe illness due to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests these populations stay home if possible, wash hands often and keep 6-feet between themselves and others.
“I don’t think any of the [nurses] thought he was going to make it,” she told SWNS. “The ICU nurse who saw him at the start said to him: ‘You’re made of strong stuff — you’re like Teflon.’”
Stapleton said her father contracted another infection in his heart that will take several more weeks to recover from.