Father has only just started breathing without oxygen support more than a year ...

Father has only just started breathing without oxygen support more than a year ...
Father has only just started breathing without oxygen support more than a year ...

A father who was described as 'one of the sickest ever' Covid patients has only just come off a nasal cannula after falling ill with the virus more than a year ago.  

Andrew Watts, 40, from Bexley, had one of the longest patient stays doctors had ever seen after being admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Woolwich, with Covid-19 pneumonia on Christmas Day 2020.

In February, after a five-week induced coma and two life-threatening lung collapses, doctors called his wife Hayley to discuss turning off his ventilator because his condition had deteriorated so badly.

But after spending 300 days in hospital - including eight months in intensive care and two months on a ward - Mr Watts, who was in remission from lymph cancer at the time, was able to go home in October.

Now, the London cab driver has come off a nasal cannula for the first time since leaving hospital, but he still battles ongoing complications from his time on a ventilator.

Andrew Watts (pictured), 40, from Bexley, had one of the longest patient stays doctors had ever seen after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 pneumonia on Christmas Day 2020

Andrew Watts (pictured), 40, from Bexley, had one of the longest patient stays doctors had ever seen after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 pneumonia on Christmas Day 2020

After a five-week induced coma and two life-threatening lung collapses, doctors called his wife Hayley to discuss turning off his ventilator. Pictured: Mr Watts while he was unwell

After a five-week induced coma and two life-threatening lung collapses, doctors called his wife Hayley to discuss turning off his ventilator. Pictured: Mr Watts while he was unwell

He told MyLondon'Only a week and a half ago, I came off a nasal cannula (a device used to deliver supplementary oxygen) for the first time since leaving hospital.'

Mr Watts said he had been using the cannula for nine hours every night to help his lungs get back to 'some sort of normality'.

Being on a ventilator in the ICU for months meant that Mr Watts had to learn to walk and talk again, and he is now able to walk for around 15 minutes at a time. 

Mr Watts - who is a father to sons Jack, six, and Joshua, three - re-learnt to talk after communicating with his wife using letters on a board while on a tracheostomy pipe in hospital.

In November, Mr Watts said his 'major goal' was to walk to and from his son's school and said he has finally managed to achieve his aim.

He added: 'I managed to get to son's school and back last Monday. I say that, we parked around the corner, so it wasn't the full way. But still.

After spending 300 days in hospital, Mr Watts (pictured with his wife Hayley and sons Jack, six, and Joshua, three) was able to return home

After spending 300 days in hospital, Mr Watts (pictured with his wife Hayley and sons Jack, six, and Joshua, three) was able to return home

'I can do about 15 minutes walking before my legs start burning up. I think people

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