The daughter of a 77-year-old man, believed to be the first COVID-19 patient to be discharged from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, has told of the heart-wrenching two weeks she experienced waiting for her dad to come home.
Sue Mansfield, from Dalkeith, waited 15 days before she could see her dad during which she was warned to “prepare for the worst” as her elderly relative struggled to fight off coronavirus.
But after treatment in intensive care and assistance with oxygen her father, Roger Street, walked out of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with his fists pumping in the air.
“Words honestly can’t describe what it felt like seeing him walking out of that hospital,” nail technician Sue, 55, told the Evening News.
“He was in a really bad way for what felt like ages.
“We were told to prepare for the worst because of the condition he was in. He couldn’t speak and didn’t have a good colour at all.
“It was just incredibly moving when he finally came home. All the neighbours came out and you could hear the emotion in his voice and see it in his face.”
Sue said her dad, who lives in Mayfield, with her mum, Annie, has underlying health conditions which added more worry to the already distressing situation.
She said the most difficult part was not being able to see or talk to Roger for two weeks.
“He had his phone with him but you couldn’t make out what he was saying because of the oxygen support,” she added.
“Many nights we would get these teary phone calls but I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say. It was really hard not being able to be with him when he was in such a bad way.”
She said the nurses were fantastic and her father continues to praise them for saving his life.
“We phoned the nurses every day because it was our only way of knowing how he was doing,” she said.
“Nothing was too much trouble for them, they were incredible and would keep us updated.
“My dad just has every praise for them.”
Despite major concerns for her father, Sue was also kept busy looking after her 77-year-old mother and both her sister, Carol Oliver and partner, Mark Gibson who also contracted COVID-19 around the same time.
“If I wasn’t checking on my partner self-isolating up in the attic I was downstairs looking after mum or up the road dropping off things for my sister who lives nearby.
“It hasn’t even crossed my mind if I have it but I am still being very careful. Even with dad I just drop off shopping and essentials that they need.”
After her family ordeal Sue said she cannot stress enough the importance of staying home to save lives and take the pressure off NHS workers.
“I still don’t understand why people are going out in large groups and why they think it’s okay,” she added.
“I guess it doesn’t hit home for some people until it’s at your own front door.”
Roger is now relaxing at home with Annie and remains stable but exhausted after fighting off COVID-19.
Children in his neighbourhood decorated the Street’s front door with balloons to welcome the coronavirus-survivor home.
“Dad’s hobbies are going up the hill and fishing, so he’s an active man and keeps fit,” Sue added.
“You wouldn’t think he’s 77, he’s not your usual elderly man because he’s very outdoorsy.
“He just longed to be home during those emotional two weeks so it’s amazing having him back.”