ONE of the last patients to leave the RVI's Covid ward has now been reunited with his wife.

64-year-old David Scholes, of Prudhoe, spent just over five weeks on Ward 48 at the Newcastle hospital, which included time in intensive care.

The sales office worker, who tested positive for Covid on February 1, was clapped out by nurses and staff as the hospital's last coronavirus ward closed.

David, who went into hospital a week after a positive test result, has now been home over a week and is recovering.

"I'm not so bad", he said.

 "My wife has said she can see some improvement in my physical condition.

"I'm doing little things, I can't do a lot really. It's all progress but its slow I'm afraid".

However, he has still managed to trim a shrub out in the garden!

"I'm pleased to be in familiar surrondings with my wife and step-son and also good food!", he added.

While in hospital, David contracted pneumonia and lost a lot of weight.

He said: "I just couldn't breathe. I was very lucky - I managed to battle through.

"I can't remember that much about it, it was uncomfortable but you get through it.

"I didn't see my wife at all. She had Covid as well at home, double whammy! It was tough going but we're on the right road now.

"It was tough for Yvonne, I was being looked after, but she, fortunately, has a good network of friends who rallied around and got her through it while I was being treated."

David was treated with a continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) machine, which according to research published in BMJ Respiratory Open, helps save lives of hospitalised patients with Covid-19 if used at an early stage. David was not put to sleep or on a ventilator.

David still requires oxygen, when exerting himself, but is hopeful he can wean himself off it in the coming weeks as he continues to be supported by RVI staff and occupational therapists at home.

Coun. Gordon Stewart, who represents Prudhoe South, has visited David on his return home.

He said: “I am delighted that David is now out of hospital and recovering well, enjoying his garden and recounting the events but looking forward to returning to his local and eating out around Prudhoe.

“He is so grateful for the care shown by the ambulance service and NHS team.”

David is now awaiting an appointment to receive the vaccine.