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26th May, 2022

Redditch father speaks about son's two-month hospital stay with Covid-19

Harry Leach 18th Jun, 2020 Updated: 18th Jun, 2020

A FATHER whose son recently left intensive care after a two month battle with coronavirus has shared his emotional story for the first time.

Barry Webster told the Standard how he feared his son, Leighton, would not pull through during his 59-day stay at the Alexandra Hospital.

My son’s lungs had completely collapsed,” said the 70-year-old, “It was touch and go for a long time with numerous close calls.”

On one occasion, the head consultant of intensive care phoned Leighton’s family explaining that he was not going to make it through the night.

Barry encouraged Leighton’s wife, Emma, who he describes as being ‘incredibly strong throughout’, to go say goodbye to her husband while he stayed behind and looked after their three children.

It was the first time Emma had been allowed to see the 42-year-old, who works in Bromsgrove, because of tough restrictions on hospital visitors during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Barry said: “The staff at the hospital put protective equipment on Emma, including a face mask and visor, so that she could speak with him one last time.

“She was blown away by how ill he looked. All she could do was tell him how loved he is and how much he was needed at home.

“We don’t know how much of that conversation he actually heard but from that moment on it was a like a switch had been turned on.”

Over the coming days and weeks Leighton amazed both his family and the hospital staff with how much his condition improved.

It was the first time his family had anything positive to celebrate, a far cry away from the constant decline his health had shown in previous weeks.

Leighton’s oxygen levels had began to show huge signs of improvement.

Barry added: “Whether it was a conscious or sub-conscious effort from Leighton, we don’t know, but what we do know is he is a fighter and we are so proud of him.

“All of the staff at the hospital were absolutely marvellous and we cannot thank them enough.

“It didn’t matter the time of day – there was always a nurse willing to take a phone call to update us on his condition.”

Barry, who said his son doesn’t smoke or drink and is usually fit, healthy and active believes the coronavirus threat is still extremely acute.

“This virus, although subsiding, has not gone away – it may never – and it’s so important that people remain safe because it does not discriminate.”

This week Leighton, who will remain at the Alex while he recovers, has managed to stand up twice.

The hospital is hoping he will be able to take steps forward in the near future.

In the meantime Leighton’s family are putting together an album for when he returns.

It will contain all the special moments he missed while he was away.

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