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I feel like Lazarus, says Northern Ireland man Ernie Long (89) after beating coronavirus

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Ernie Long with his wife Patsy after his amazing recovery

Ernie Long with his wife Patsy after his amazing recovery

Ernie Long with his wife Patsy after his amazing recovery

An 89-year-old man has said he feels like "Lazarus" after returning home after recovering from Covid-19.

Ernie Long said: "It's in my head now that I really shouldn't be here.

"I feel just like Lazarus, returning from the dead…"

Ernie had become unwell some weeks ago with double pneumonia and COPD and had been admitted to South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) for treatment. Two days into his stay in hospital he was told that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Ernie spent a total of 15 days in SWAH before being transferred to Drumclay Transitional Unit in Enniskillen to receive further care and rehabilitation.

"I had four things wrong with me, and any one of the four could have been lethal," he said. "I had the virus, COPD, double pneumonia, and Parkinson's disease.

"Any one of those things could have been enough to see me off!"

"My first thoughts were shock and fear when I was told that I had the virus, but I accepted whatever would happen, would happen.

"The staff in SWAH and Drumclay really went beyond the call of duty for me.

"You could never pay those who work in the NHS enough for what they do."

Ernie's wife Patsy said: "It's wonderful and unbelievable.

"There were some times I didn't think I'd ever see the day he would come home."

Staff at Drumclay Transitional Unit gave Ernie a great send off and staff clapped and cheered Ernie as he returned home last Monday.

Daughter Linda Long, a social worker, said it had been a very worrying time for the family: "He's 89 - and we were concerned that he wouldn't come through.

"But we were very impressed by the care he was given throughout the whole process."

Ciara Farry Deputy Sister at Drumclay said: "We are delighted to have assisted with Ernie's recovery and wish him and his family all the very best."

Belfast Telegraph