Exclusive: London hospital sees just one in 20 ICU coronavirus patients fully recover

Croydon hospital is one of the hardest hit with a quarter of coronavirus patients dying

Jothy Kesavan is the first person to leave Croydon hospital's intensive care unit alive after being admitted with coronavirus.
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A British hospital serving the south London commuter belt has revealed the extent of the challenge in helping patients recover from Covid-19 with figures showing that only one in approximately 20 patients admitted to its intensive care unit (ICU) has been able to return home.

Figures released to The National revealed that of the patients in the ICU only one has been discharged from inpatient care.

Jothy Kesavan had been in the hospital for a month before finally becoming the first person to leave the unit alive. There are now 22 patients in the ICU department.

The Covid-19 outbreak has been particularly severe in London and the borough of Croydon has been hardest hit.

Since the pandemic began 719 patients had been admitted with Covid-19 to the hospital. While 390 have recovered and gone home there have been 181 that have lost their lives.

The UK presently has 93,873 confirmed cases and has seen 12,107 deaths - more than 3,000 in the London area, which makes up just over 10 per cent of the country's population.

On her release on Tuesday, Mrs Kesavan was cheered by the ward staff in a video released by the hospital.

“I’d like to thank all of the staff at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust for their endless compassion," the 51-year-old said.

"The sacrifices you are making on our behalf in light of these unprecedented challenges are truly breathtaking. I feel blessed to have been in your care and will never forget you all. You saved my life.

“For most of my 30 odd days in hospital I was under heavy sedation, but when awake, I simply remember the kindness the nurses showed me. I remember for example my hair being tangled up in knots and two kind nurses taking time out of their busy schedules to untangle it for me. They were just so kind and the level of support was second to none."

It is thought Croydon has been one of the hardest hit parts of the capital due to it being one of the most populated boroughs with more than 385,000 people living in the area.

The hospital tweeted a video of Mrs Kesavan as she left the hospital.

"Today we celebrate as local resident Mrs Kesavan heads home after recovering from #COVID19 - the first patient with #coronavirus to be discharged from our ICU. We're thrilled to see her return home to her loved ones and SO proud of the work of #TeamCroydon," it said.

Elaine Clancy, Chief Nurse for Croydon who is leading the Trust’s response to Covid-19, said staff were working around the clock to care for patients and described Mrs Kesavan's recovery as "incredible".

"We're delighted to see Mrs Kesavan return home to her loved ones today and wish her all the best in her continued recovery," she said.

"Our teams of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, both in our intensive care units and on our wards are working around the clock to ensure that all of our patients get the best possible care and I'm very proud of all of their efforts.

"Mrs Kesavan's incredible recovery, alongside the hundreds of other patients with Covid-19 that we have already successfully discharged, reinforces our continued hope for all of those affected."

Almost 400 people have been discharged from the hospital to date after being admitted with coronavirus.

Mrs Kesavan’s husband, Jason added: “There are no words that can express the level of gratitude I have for the staff at Croydon University Hospital.  When you saved my wife’s life, you saved my life too and the lives of our family and friends who all love her so much. Thank you all.”

On Tuesday the latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics revealed 6,235 people had died in England and Wales by April 3 with the virus.

It is feared the UK Covid-19 death rate could be 15 per cent higher than thought as the official figures have only included people who have died in hospital.

The missing deaths raise fears many are dying of Covid-19 in care homes.

The April 3 figures show 4,102 people died of Covid-19 in England, five per cent of whom were in care homes.

On Wednesday, more than one million coronavirus cases were detected in Europe, just over half the global total.

With at least 1,003,284 cases, including 84,465 deaths, Europe is the worst hit continent.

Globally, 2 million Covid-19 infections and 125,955 deaths have been registered.

The UK has been on lockdown for over three weeks in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

It is expected to be extended on Thursday.