Covid-19 patient Felix Khor, from Shoebury, has left Southend University Hospital after almost 11 weeks as a patient, first on critical care and then on Westcliff ward.
This time it was just staff on the ward clapping their goodbyes, but it was still clearly an emotional experience for the 68 year old, who waved his thanks to those that had given him so much care.
When he was transferred from critical care to the ward four weeks ago, the main hospital corridor had 150-200 staff socially distanced clapping and celebrating his road to recovery.
Of that moment, Felix said: “There were consultants, doctors, matrons, nurses, domestics; every uniform you could think of. I never realised that so many people cared about me. It was amazing to have been in lots of people's prayers and thoughts; it has been a huge morale boost.”
Although he admitted that it felt a bit strange going from being known by a few people to everyone seemingly knowing his name. Felix said: “Waking up and everyone knowing your name has been a little but surreal, but I thank everyone for their kind thoughts.”
Felix has put a lot of that positive energy he has received back into being able to walk again properly without getting out of breath. He was told that somebody on a ventilator for just two weeks loses 40% of their muscle, so he has been determined to get walking on his own again. And walk out of Westcliff ward he did.
Felix said: "Staff have been so caring, supporting and encouraging. I keep saying to people that honestly, words cannot express enough my gratitude to the care I have been given on Westcliff ward and ICU.”
For 40 years Felix has been the one giving care, so it has been different to be the one receiving it for a change. Felix joined Southend Hospital in 2005 as part of the resus training team. Following his retirement, he continued working as part of the staff bank in the Emergency Department, but is now set to retire after recovering from Covid-19.
Although there is a long road ahead, Felix is looking forward to getting back to his gardening; he knows it won't be something he'll be able to do straight away.
He said: "I know half of my plants will be dead, but I'll start again, I love my gardening. This year has just been my missing summer, but like me, my garden will flourish once again.