‘I didn’t know when, or if he was coming back’ - Wife of recovering coronavirus patient who left intensive care tells of 65-year-old husband’s battle with virus

After more than two weeks of treatment in intensive care, Pete Mitchell, 65, yesterday left the unit at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh applauding the efforts of healthcare workers who had supported him.
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Mr Mitchell’s wife Eileen, 62, spoke to the Evening News about the heart-wrenching wait she experienced for her husband to get better.

Mrs Mitchell, from South Queensferry, has praised the efforts of everyone working on the frontline during ‘terrifying’ unprecedented times.

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“It started the day before the lockdown began,” Mrs Mitchell, an optician worker said, “It just started with a small cough but it progressed to the sweats but he got really unwell on around the seventh day. I phoned NHS 24 at 7am, and the ambulance was here to get him at 8:45am.

Mr Mitchell left ICU yesterday eveningMr Mitchell left ICU yesterday evening
Mr Mitchell left ICU yesterday evening

“They were really amazing, they were so quick. I couldn’t say goodbye properly to him as I had to distance myself and then all of a sudden he was away, I wasn’t sure when he was coming back or if he was coming back.”

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Mr Mitchell, a member of staff from George Heriots spent two days in hospital before his health deteriorated rapidly and he was moved to the intensive care unit.

While he was originally meant to leave ICU over the weekend, however his oxygen levels dropped while he was getting dress and washing and he was required to stay in for further monitoring before the healthcare staff could be sure about moving him.

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“Everyone on the ward was so, so good. They don’t care when you phone, if you phone, they will tell you everything going on, because obviously I couldn’t go in to see him.

“I don’t think it is something that they normally do, but because of the situation they tell you everything. I couldn’t see Pete so he was allowed to use his phone to contact me, and that really eased my mind a bit. They’ve done a marvellous job.”

Mr Mitchell remains in hospital as he continues on the ‘long road to recovery’, but it is thought he may be back home in around a week.

“He has come on leaps and bounds, I cannot thank the doctors and nurses, and everyone who is in there enough, it is such a scary time for everyone.”

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After speaking with her husband this morning, Mrs Mitchell relayed the message that he is fine, and washing and dressing and taking things slow as he recovers.

“It was such a relief when he came out of ICU, I can’t even describe it,” said an emotional Mrs Mitchell, “It’s a long road to recovery still, but he’s on it now.

“It’s our silver wedding anniversary on 6 May, so I hope he is back in time for that.”

She added that her “house had never been so clean” as she has been trying to fill the days without him at home, but says the time has dragged.

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“Pete likes his mince and tatties so that’s what I’ll be making when he comes home,” she laughed, “Our neighbours and family have been really good, offering help whenever its needed or just a phone call, everyone is doing a wonderful job in these trying times.

“I like to think once this is all over that people won’t put as much importance on the material things, we’re lucky to have our health and happiness.”

Mr Mitchell is on the mend now, however they noted that they had no idea where the virus was picked up from.

It is now expected that after spending time in the high dependency unit, he will move to a ward before being discharged to head back home.

Yesterday evening, the Critical Care Unit of the RIE released a video of Mr Mitchell leaving ICU smiling and in high spirits.

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