A GRANDMOTHER has spoken about her 111-day fight with Covid-19.

Safurat Ladoja spent her 75th birthday at Great Western Hospital and was given a guard of honour by staff last week when she left the building for the first time since April.

She spent six weeks in intensive care and is the oldest patient at the Swindon hospital to survive being ventilated.

Safurat called the ordeal “the worst time of my life”.

She told the Adver: “I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was very weak, and I was ventilated. I could only see people going around me.

“When I was ventilated, I was so scared, I thought I was passing away because of all the equipment around me.

“I couldn’t eat, so I had tubes in my nose. I couldn’t get up because of the catheter.

“It was the worst time of my life because I was always in bed. I couldn’t do anything.”

Safurat was admitted to hospital on April 2 after showing symptoms of Covid-19, including shortness of breath. After spending seven weeks recovering on a ward, she was finally discharged on July 22.

Safurat was struck down by the virus while visiting the country from Nigeria. She was helping her daughter Ola Oladoja look after her two young children, Samuel, 6, and Morewaoluwa, 8, in Redhouse but could not return home because of lockdown restrictions.

Ola, who works as a midwife at GWH, called the paramedics when her mum found breathing difficult and was not eating well.

She said: “The respiration was so high, and I knew something was wrong.

“At the time I didn’t know what to do, so I checked her temperature and it wasn’t showing anything significant.

“But by the time the paramedics came to check her temperature, she was at 38.1C and her oxygen level went down between 58 and 68mm Hg – and it was not getting better.”

Ola was not allowed to see her mum for nine weeks.

She added: “It was the hardest period for me, my family and for my mum.

“I felt so horrified. It was a difficult time, because of the protocols put in place. We couldn’t visit her. It was a very hard moment psychologically, it was so draining, I cried my eyes out every day.

“I couldn’t see her, it was very terrifying.

“ I thought she was going to pass away, it’s just so scary. I was thinking ‘mum is going to go’, especially when there were no good news for two weeks. I prayed all the time and I got a lot of people around me, including my pastor and my sister.”

Safurat had to undergo a surgery after some complications.

Ola said: “She had a swollen upper airway and the granuloma tissue formed inside so she couldn’t breathe properly.

“She could only breathe through the tracheostomy tube and when they tried each time to take the tube out, she couldn’t breathe for more than two minutes herself. So, they had to put it back again.”

The grandmother was transferred to Neptune ward, where she spent seven weeks.

Ola said: “The staff went the extra mile looking after my mum day and night, washing and making her hair.

“The amazing outreach team who has always ensured that my mum’s care was never compromised invited me into the unit to see my mum for the first time after nine weeks not getting a hug from her.

“It was an unforgettable, emotional day.”

She added: “Mum also went to the most warm and friendly environment on Meldon ward after the surgery, where people of a distinctive character are embedded.

“So here we are. The journey that seemed not to be ending has ended up in praise and with thanksgiving in our heart.

“Our sincere gratitude goes to all the GWH wonderful teams involved in mum’s care, the paramedics, emergency department staff, ICU doctors and nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists, the outreach team, ENT team, dieticians, Neptune staff, Meldon staff, phlebotomists, healthcare assistants, porters and the cleaners. “

Safurat has returned to her daughter’s house to rest and will travel back to Nigeria as soon as it safe to do so.

She said: “I’m physically alright now, I can eat normally now, and I can do things by myself. I can also walk with a walking stick.”

GWH chief executive Kevin McNamara said: “We are thrilled that Safurat is now home with her family and making a good recovery.

“This would not have been possible without the incredible work from teams across the Trust, including staff on ICU and the wards, and a number of others who were all instrumental in helping Safurat to recover.

“Safurat’s recovery reminds us that every figure we see relates to an individual, and to their family, and that is why we always put our patients first and do everything we can to get them better.

“Everybody here at GWH NHS Foundation Trust wishes Safurat and her family well on her continued recovery."