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Senior policeman in tearful thank-you to NHS staff who helped him beat Covid-19

West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby was taken to Worcester Royal Hospital on March 29.

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West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby was on a ventilator as he battled coronavirus (handout/PA)

West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby was on a ventilator as he battled coronavirus (handout/PA)

West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby was on a ventilator as he battled coronavirus (handout/PA)

A senior police officer has given an emotional thank-you speech to NHS staff who cared for him as he battled Covid-19.

Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby tweeted updates about his condition, including breathing difficulties, in the first week after falling ill, but was then admitted to intensive care and put on a ventilator.

The West Midlands Police officer spent more than three weeks in Worcester Royal Hospital, and was reduced to tears as he made his way out to the sound of applause from NHS staff.

Mr Dolby was admitted to hospital in the early hours of March 29 and days later, he was placed on a ventilator in intensive care as he was unable to breath for himself and oxygen levels in his blood had plummeted.

The force said he spent around a fortnight heavily sedated in intensive care.

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Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby returned home after more than three weeks in hospital (West Midlands Police/PA)

Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby returned home after more than three weeks in hospital (West Midlands Police/PA)

Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby returned home after more than three weeks in hospital (West Midlands Police/PA)

As he made his way out of the hospital in a wheelchair, Mr Dolby became tearful as he said: “I just want to say to you all that you’ve not just cared for me, you’ve saved my life… you’ve saved my life and I’m going back to my family.

“That’s a gift I’ll never stop thanking you for.”

Speaking of her relief, Mr Dolby’s wife Mary said: “He’s alive and back with us. There were times we feared there would be no homecoming for Phil.

“The doctors and nurses have saved his life… and we’ll be forever grateful.

“Phil would certainly not fall into what’s deemed the ‘vulnerable’ category: he’s only 45 and a fit man. Our experience shows people of all ages can be susceptible to coronavirus so please adhere to the warnings.”

PA