A&E nurse becomes 1000th Covid patient to be discharged from Northwick Park Hospital

A&E nurse Franco Palo was the 1000th patient at Northwick Park to recover from Covid. PIcture: LNWHU

A&E nurse Franco Palo was the 1000th patient at Northwick Park to recover from Covid. PIcture: LNWHU - Credit: Archant

An A&E nurse cheered out Northwick Park Hospital after a nine-week battle with Covid-19 became nearly the 1,000th patient to be discharged by the trust.

Franco Palo who spent more than a month in intensive care has been discharged by the London North West University (LNWUH) NHS Trust.

His last words to his wife Grace before being sedated were: “Don’t worry. I promise I will come back.”

The 47-year-old woke more than a month later in intensive care asking what had happened.

“I couldn’t remember anything apart from some strange dreams,” said the senior charge nurse who fell ill a week after he began self-isolating at home as a precautionary measure.

Doctors initially suspected pneumonia and, after responding to medication, Franco was sent home only to see his condition worsen several days later with a high fever and shortness of breath.

He was rushed to A&E and had a breathing tube inserted down his throat and into his lungs.

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Unknown to him he was transferred to the Royal Brompton as his ventilator proved infective but on making improvements was transferred back to the Watford Road hospital where had worked for more than 19 years and knew the nurses caring for him.

One of Franco’s biggest pleasures was the day his feeding tube was removed and one of the team bought him a tub of vanilla flavoured Ben and Jerrys. “That was the best tasting ice-cream I ever had in my life,” he said.

“People have been so kind and supportive. I just want to say a big thank you to everyone. It felt like the whole hospital was on my side.

“It’s not been easy but I’m just taking things a day at a time and have moved from a walking frame to a stick to moving around by myself.

“I’m also looking forward to a haircut.

Wife Grace Palo, who works as a senior sister in the same A&E department as Franco, said: “It’s been a terrible ordeal but my kids never had any doubt their dad would pull through because they know he is a fighter.

“He’s always been popular and I’ve had everyone from cleaners to consultants wishing my family the best. It means a lot to me and I never once heard anyone say he wouldn’t pull through.

“It’s been a tough battle for but my message to anyone struggling out there for whatever reason is not to give up. You have to keep trying.”

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