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Covid-19 patient whose life-support machine was nearly turned off three times beats virus and gets engaged

PUBLISHED: 19:03 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:21 29 May 2020

Patrick Galloway. Picture: Patrick Galloway

Patrick Galloway. Picture: Patrick Galloway

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A man beat Covid-19 and the odds after his life-support machine was nearly switched off three times while he was in an induced coma – and then his girlfriend of 30 years proposed to him.

Patrick Galloway and Cynthia Palmer. Picture: Courtesy of Patrick Galloway and Cynthia PalmerPatrick Galloway and Cynthia Palmer. Picture: Courtesy of Patrick Galloway and Cynthia Palmer

Patrick Galloway, of Alexander Road in Archway, said “yes” to Cynthia Palmer and now intends to marry her at the earliest opportunity.

Patrick, 56, was admitted to the Whittington Hospital due to difficulty breathing and went into an induced coma from March 23 to April 27.

During this period he was also transferred to University College Hospital because his condition continued to deteriorate.

Patrick told the Gazette: “I feel lucky. I feel extremely grateful to all the hospital staff because what they did for me is just beyond belief – they never gave up. I owe them so much.”

He started to cry, adding: “When I came out of the coma I couldn’t walk, sit up or speak.”

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Reflecting on her fiancé’s battle with the virus, Cynthia, 51, said: “It was the worst time of my life. I couldn’t sleep at night because they said: ‘If he takes a turn for the worse expect a phone call any time.’

“One day a doctor phoned me and said: ‘Patrick’s still on a ventilator but his eyes have opened.’”

Patrick added: “When I woke up I had so many hallucinations, I didn’t know reality. I dreamed I was on a boat and dived off and hit my head, and that somebody burgled my house and my girlfriend had to run for her life. It was scary.”

He continued: “One of the first things she said was: ‘Will you marry me.’

“I’m not going to let another day pass, as soon as I can get married I will. One thing this has taught me is don’t leave anything until tomorrow, because I was fine the day before and [Covid-19 nearly] took my life away.”

Patrick’s 84-year-old father, Oscar, – a church organist and retired bus driver who lived in Sheffield – had Alzheimer’s disease and died while he was in the coma.

Patrick is a former glazier who has not worked since undergoing triple heart bypass surgery in 2008, and Cynthia is a beautician.


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