Covid battle man Sean praises ‘exceptional’ hospital staff and reveals: ‘I got home.Then I cried.’

Torbay HospitalTorbay Hospital

A Torbay man has written a searingly honest account of his battle with Covid-19.

Sean Caunter has paid tribute to the ‘incredible’ staff at Torbay Hospital as he continues his recovery back at home with his partner Andy.

But he has also appealed to the public to follow the rules to help save lives.

Now back at home, he writes:

‘It bit me and it bit me very, very hard indeed.

After telephone consultations with 111 and Devon Doctors, I was packed into the back of an ambulance with an amazing crew dressed in full body protection.

So off to Torbay A&E and onward admission into the specialist COVID ward and into a side room connected up to the oxygen supply.

I’ve been scanned and x-rayed.

I’ve had cannulas with blood going out and infusions going in.

I’ve volunteered for clinical trials in the hope that these a something that may help me, but also may help those after me.

And there I stayed.

On Friday morning I was well enough to be moved to a small ward with three other guys.

One man was quite poorly, so myself and the most interesting 82-year-old ex-Navy officer chatted and supported each other.

On Friday evening, around 8pm, the nursing team were so pleased with my progress, they removed me from the oxygen.

What a relief - the noise of the constant moving air is not something I will forget for some time.

We settled down for the evening and tried to get some rest.

Stark reality once again hit, when at 4am Saturday morning, the mortuary trolly turned up to collect the man who’d been opposite me.

The nursing team were obviously distraught, they knew how poorly he was and he was waiting to be able to go home to pass on with his family around him.

Unfortunately and completely unexpected he just couldn’t go on.

So Saturday is just the two of us.

Still having interesting conversations and supporting each other as much we could.

I had my regular visit from the doctor.

She asked me to do some walking around the ward and she monitored my levels.

Interestingly they had been saying that they were trying to decided what best to do with me next.

It was looking more likely I would be off to another specialised unit.

So off she went to her review meeting with all the relevant ward teams.

A few hours later two returned did some more checks on me and gave me the most amazing news.

She said: “You’ve had a very, very, very bad attack by this virus, however we’re so pleased with your results - how would you like to go home?”

It brought so much emotion it was incredible.

I was able to stand and walk the long walk to the end.

It gave me the opportunity to personally thank any of the amazing team I passed, there’s been such a huge team over the week and only saw a fraction.

As I reached the end of the corridor, I took a glance back just to give some thought to the closed doors and the thoughts of the individual battles happening behind them and wishing them everything they could hope for.

So I walked out walked down the stairs, got in the car and got home to my lovely warm inviting house.

Then I cried.

These words just won’t do the absolute incredible team at Torbay Hospital any justice at all.

They were exceptional, selfless, caring, tireless, concerned, supportive, interested, sympathetic, professional knackered, worried for themselves and their families.

We are so lucky for this service, beyond any words.

I just want to say how dangerous this little critter is and how much the people up top and our amazing scientists are trying their best to protect us.

It’s silent and deadly but we can easily follow the basics and help to protect others.’