“Miracle” coronavirus survivor released after four weeks in coma
South Australia’s last remaining COVID-19 patient has been released from the Royal Adelaide Hospital after spending four weeks on a ventilator.
Paul Faraguna, 68, was the first coronavirus patient to be admitted to intensive care in the state and the last to walk out.
He was admitted to hospital over two months ago after contracting the virus on the Ruby Princess cruise ship. At least 22 passengers have died since disembarking the vessel in Sydney.
Faraguna was rushed to intensive care six days later and placed in an induced coma and on a ventilator for about four weeks. During this period, he started to suffer multiple organ failure.
“The doctors were unable to say what my future would be if I survived, even suggesting that I may have brain damage and be permanently disabled,” he said in a statement.
“I remember that, after awakening from my coma, virtually every doctor and nurse consistently telling me that my recovery was a miracle.”
On Thursday afternoon, he was farewelled by staff from the infectious diseases ward
Faraguna thanked the medical staff for the “caring treatment” he received.
The last patient recovering from COVID-19 left the RAH today. Paul contracted COVID-19 on the Ruby Princess. He was so ill he was in the ICU in an induced coma and on a ventilator for 4 weeks. He's still recovering and now receiving care closer to home at Modbury Hospital ❤️ pic.twitter.com/NwcZ1ippPJ
— SA Health (@SAHealth) May 21, 2020
“I don’t particularly enjoy being in hospital for such a long time, but the experience of being looked after by the wonderful staff has made it far better,” he said.
“I will never be able to repay all of the dedicated medical staff, but I give you my heartfelt thank you.”
The hospital’s Nurse Unit Manager, Karen Shutz, said Faraguna’s recovery was “a huge boost” to the medical team.
“We honestly didn’t think he’d make it through, but to see him come out the other side is just the most amazing gift you can have out of this pandemic,” she told the ABC.
“It was just such a huge boost that somebody had made it out the other side who was really sick, so yeah, there were a few tears as he was walking out this afternoon.”
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