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WATCH: "They will forever be in my heart"

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Friday 22 May 2020

WATCH: "They will forever be in my heart"


A man who left hospital yesterday after a six-week battle with covid-19 that drove him into Jersey’s intensive care unit has told Express the health staff that helped him “will forever be in my heart”.

Father and grandfather Paulo Alves spent over a month in Jersey General Hospital, as he fought off some of the worst effects of the debilitating respiratory illness.

During his time, the Madeira-born Cimandis manager received emergency care in the ICU before eventually moving to Plemont Ward and working his way back to health with the help of dozens of dedicated health workers.

As Mr Alves left Jersey Hospital in a wheelchair yesterday (Thursday 21 May) to return to his family, masked doctors, nurses and health care assistants lined the corridor to cheer and applaud him.

Video: Mr Alves was greeted with claps and cheers as he left hospital.

The heartwarming moment was captured in a video by Lead Nurse Vitor Fernandes, showing one staff member telling Mr Alves, “Take care of yourself.”

Mr Alves can be seen touching his heart and mouthing, “Thank you.”

Speaking to Express upon his return home, Mr Alves paid tribute to all those who had helped him. 

“I’d like to thank everyone at Jersey hospital especially those in ICU, Plemont ward and the physiotherapy department,” he said.

“The doctors, nurses, carers, consultants, cleaners and anyone I may have missed have been fantastic with me and they will forever be in my heart.” 

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Pictured: Mr Alves praised everyone working in the hospital who helped him as "fantastic".

Chief Nurse Rose Naylor, who joined colleagues in applauding Mr Alves, said that her team were “incredibly proud of the progress this patient made in their recovery and of all the staff who cared for them during their time in the General Hospital”. 

She continued: “Their treatment required a period of intensive care and it’s incredibly good news that they are now able to return home.

“We wish them a continued full recovery.” 

Thousands of islanders have now viewed and ‘liked’ the video of Mr Alves leaving the hospital, with many sharing their best wishes with the islander. 

"One of the friendliest, happy human beings possible. So glad that there's a happy ending to this. Be strong Paulo Alves," one well-wisher said.

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Pictured: Chief Nurse Rose Naylor said she was "proud" of both Mr Alves and the staff that had helped him.

Another supporter commented: "So happy for you Paulo! You are such a great person and always there to help! We were devastated hearing you were so unwell but so pleased to hear you are better now. Thank you to all hospital staff who cared for you."

"Makes quite emotional watching this," a health worker added. "Big congrats to this man and I am oozing with pride for my fellow workers who looked after him"

Others welcomed the news as a boost of positivity during what has been a challenging period.

"I found this emotional and wonderful. I don't know this gentleman myself but I am so pleased he overcame this. When this happens on home turf, it makes it even more special to see," wrote one Facebooker.

"Thank you Government and Jersey hospital for sharing this celebration because positivity generates a positive mindset and we could all do with some of that right now."

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Pictured: Many islanders described the news as a much-needed boost of positivity.

It’s predicted that more than 3,000 islanders have been infected with covid-19, but just a fraction have felt have felt the very worst effects of it.

In its milder form, some report loss of taste and sense of smell. Others, however, experience severe breathing difficulties, even requiring use of a ventilator.

According to the latest statistics released by Government, three people are currently in hospital with covid-19.

29 patients have sadly passed away, with the majority in the hospital and in local care homes.

Meanwhile, 272 individuals are officially deemed to have recovered from covid-19.

More females than males have recovered, and the average age is 53.

Pictured top: Mr Alves, who yesterday left the hospital after struggling with covid-19 for six weeks. 

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