“I can’t thank the NHS enough” - Brighouse man praises dedication of hospital staff after being saved from COVID-19

A man from Brighouse has paid tribute to the dedication of NHS staff after recovering from coronavirus, despite being given a one per cent chance of survival.

Friday, 15th May 2020, 5:14 pm

Seamus Scadden, 50, was in a coma for 34 days at Calderdale Royal Hospital after catching coronavirus.

He was helped in his initial recovery by father-of-four Paul Regan, who was featured in the Courier last week, who also went into a coma with the virus, and was on the same hospital ward.

Mr Scadden is now recovering at his mum’s house in Sowerby Bridge, and says he cannot thank the NHS staff enough who saved his life.

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Seamus in hospital

“I had multiple organ failure, pneumonia, six blood transfusions, kidney failure, a heart attack.

“I went through the mill and back again.”If it hadn’t been for the NHS staff in Halifax and their expertise and dedication, I wouldn’t be here now to tell my story.

“At one point I actually died and they brought me back after a heart attack.

“In a lot of ways, I’m very lucky but I’ve got the NHS to thank.

Seamus Scadden

“Paul said I’m a miracle, but I don’t feel as if I am.

“It’s the dedication of the NHS staff. I’m very, very lucky to be alive.

“I’m one of the very lucky ones because there’s so many people that have died.

“It’s the advances in medicine and the dedication of the NHS staff that have pulled me through, and the way they’ve treated me.”

Seamus, who has type two diabetes, said he initially felt out of breath and generally run down, and thought he had a touch of pneumonia.

“I did questionnaires online and it kept saying dial 999. This was on Thursday, March 26,” he said.

“I did it again the day after and then on the Saturday morning, I did it again and I thought ‘I’m going to have to ring 999’ and they said they’d send somebody out.

“I rang my mum to come and pick my cats up because I had a funny feeling I’d end up being admitted.
“The ambulance crew had a quick look at me and took me in. I remember getting into the ambulance but I don’t remember getting out.

“I went into ICU and after a few days my kidneys failed, I had pneumonia, I had sepsis.

“I then had half-a-dozen blood transfusions while I was in the coma. My blood kept clotting so they had to do it again and again.
“I had a heart attack.

“But it’s the dedication of those Halifax doctors and nurses, that’s the only reason I pulled through.

“I did actually pass (away). My mum got a phone call at three o’clock in the morning to say it was really bad, but mum asked the doctors to give me a bit more time, because I’ve had to fight all my life.

“I was born with the umbilical cord round my neck, I’ve had my appendix burst, I had two lots of chemotherapy for hepatitis C, so I’ve had to fight all my life to stay alive.

“They agreed to give me a bit of extra time and I managed to pull round.”I was 39 days in ICU, then 10 days on the ward. Which is where I met Paul Regan, and we pushed each other to get walking.

“Usually I have quite a good physique but when I woke up I was just skin and bone. I’d lost all my muscle tone.

“I’m getting better and better by the day, and getting stronger, but they’ve told me it’ll be 12 to 18 months before I’m back to how I was.”

Seamus has previously worked at pubs across Calderdale and now works for a fleet vehicle management company in Huddersfield.

“On my fiftieth birthday, April 26, I came out of ICU and went down to the ward.

“That was my fiftieth birthday present.

“I only found out about the pneumonia and the heart attack on Tuesday.

“The doctors rang me on Tuesday and I asked exactly what was wrong, what happened, and they told me.

“I’ve come to terms with everything now. But when I was in ICU I saw eight people die, which is pretty horrendous. You’re talking to them one day and then the next day you wake up and they’re dead.

“Then I went down to the ward and that’s where I met Paul, and we pushed and pushed each other to build each other up.

“When I went into the ward I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t even move out of bed without help.

“I fell out of bed once and then I fell and smashed my face in because I was that unsteady.

“I’m a lot steadier now, I just have to use sticks. I’m no longer on my zimmer frame.

“They give you bed exercises to do to build you up, but standing alone I was just shaking like a leaf. I still shake now.

“COVID is very, very real, and people who don’t know anyone who’s gone through it might think ‘oh, it’s just a bad case of flu’.

“One of the nurses said to me while I was in hospital that she was in a queue at the supermarket, and there was a young man there with his child, and he turned round and said ‘I don’t know what all the fuss is about, it’s only a bad case of flu’.

“If I’d been there I’d have walloped him one, because it isn’t. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

“The NHS is stretched enough without this virus, but it’s the dedication of the staff in Halifax that helped me.

“There’s a sister there called Laura, she was absolutely fantastic, and one of the nurses, Fran, she pushed me, she made me do things myself rather than relying on them.

“I woke up and I had a bit of a panic attack, I thought everyone was out to get me, so Laura sat with me for well over an hour, just calming me down because I was hyperventilating.

“It was pretty horrendous. The more people that know, maybe they will abide by what the government says about keeping your distance, wear face masks, stay at home.

“If there’s no reason to go out, don’t go out. I can’t stress that enough.

“I do believe they’re lifting restrictions too soon. Spain and France have eased restrictions and they’ve seen a new peak.

“I can’t go back to work yet. I’ve been given three months’ sick note but it’s possible I’ll have more time off after that.”

Mr Scadden is now being given after-support, and is in regular contact with his doctors.

“Once it’s all died down they’ve said they’re hoping to get me back into the hospital to see the staff again,” he said.

“I can’t thank the NHS enough.”