Northumberland man, 91, thanks hospital staff after recovering from coronavirus

A 91-year-old Northumberland man has spoken of his relief at overcoming coronavirus.

Friday, 15th May 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 18th May 2020, 9:00 am

Henry Spence was discharged from hospital on VE Day and has spent the past few days recuperating at his home in Tweedmouth, Berwick.

Mr Spence spent almost two months apart from his family and was unable to see his wife Muriel for seven weeks.

“I’m feeling a little better every day, although I’m still tired,” he said.

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Henry Spence, from Tweedmouth, was discharged from Berwick Infirmary on VE Day after his recovery from coronavirus.

His ordeal began in early April when he suffered head and knee injuries in a fall at home and was taken to the Northumbria specialist emergency care hospital in Cramlington.

He was kept in a few days before being transferred to Berwick Infirmary where he later tested positive for coronavirus.

“I don’t know at what point I got it,” he said.

“They put me into an isolation unit where I spent four weeks on oxygen. I felt very, very poorly the first two weeks. I was short of breath and very tired.

Henry Spence leaving Berwick Infirmary after his recovery from coronavirus.

“I couldn’t have cared if I lived or not but as time went on, thanks to some very good nursing, I pulled through.”

After more time recovering on the main ward he was finally reunited with his wife, Muriel, for the first time in seven weeks last Friday.

“She has been very ill after heart failure last year and I think it was worse for her,” said Henry. “She knew exactly what was going on so it was a big relief to her when I got home.

“When I was in hospital I didn’t actually have that many concerns. It was only later that I fully realised how ill I had actually been.”

He did, however, have contact of sorts with his daughter, Alice, during his hospital stay.

“I wasn’t allowed visitors but she came every day and spoke through the window,” he said.

Henry has expressed his grateful thanks to the staff at Berwick Infirmary.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the staff at Berwick Infirmary and the treatment I received,” he said. “They were absolutely great.”

Sister Sue Gibson, Berwick Infirmary, said: “We are so delighted that Henry is recovering well and that he is now home. Henry was such a lovely patient, so kind and appreciative of the care he received.

“He is absolutely an ambassador for his generation as his resilience and spirit certainly shone through! He was a pleasure to care for and we all wish him well.”

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