• Richard Cree


Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Monday 22nd June 2020

Figures for 21st June

UK COVID Deaths 43 / Total 42,632

James Cook Hospital – Total COVID deaths – 251

All COVID cases within South Tees Hospitals Trust – 10

James Cook Critical Care COVID cases – 2 / 2 ventilated

Just a quick update on my friend Gary who is recovering from a prolonged ICU stay due to COVID-19 in a hospital in London.

Gary has spent his first weekend at home having been discharged on Friday. He has spent a total of 95 days in hospital, 47 of these in Intensive Care. He has been discharged home with a rehabilitation package and his recovery will continue over the forthcoming months.

Gary got to celebrate a very special Father’s Day yesterday. Having spent his Birthday unconscious in the ICU, this was an opportunity for a delayed celebration. One of his ‘presents’ was a haircut from his daughter which was a surprisingly professional job. It’s been many years since acute hospitals offered a hairdressing service and during the pandemic the hairdressers wouldn’t have been allowed to visit anyway. The nurses kept him clean shaven, despite the fact that I reckon he secretly would have liked to leave the hospital looking like Grizzly Adams.

It’s probably just as well he was presentable when it was time for him to leave as he had quite an audience. Gary’s walking has improved significantly due to all the hard work he and his physiotherapists have put in over the past month. He was therefore determined to walk from his room to the hospital entrance. The route was lined with at least a hundred hospital staff who clapped and cheered as Gary made his long walk to freedom. A powerful moment indeed.

I thought I would share a photograph of Gary and the rest of us that was taken in November last year when we were mountain biking in Arizona. We had all finished another long ride in the desert, dodging rattlesnakes and avoiding heat-stroke. We celebrated our arrival back at the van with a well-earned beer. Happy times. We are all hopeful that such days will come again. Cheers Gary!

From left to right - MK, Tony, Me, Gary and Matt

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