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Supergran, 94, beats coronavirus - and thanks ‘brilliant’ NHS nurses

PUBLISHED: 21:03 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:36 31 March 2020

Joy beat coronavirus after a stay at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: TOBY BASIL

Joy beat coronavirus after a stay at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: TOBY BASIL

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A “miracle” 94-year-old supergran has thanked amazing NHS hospital staff for helping to save her life after she beat coronavirus.

Joy beat coronavirus after a stay at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: TOBY BASILJoy beat coronavirus after a stay at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: TOBY BASIL

Great-grandmother of seven Joy, whose surname we have been asked not to use, called the NHS’ 111 helpline around about March 20 after she experienced breathing difficulties and a high temperature.

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Fearing the worst, given that Joy is in the at-risk over-70s age group, a call handler immediately sent an ambulance to take her to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston - where tests later revealed she had both pneumonia and coroanvirus.

Relatives confessed they thought Joy would not survive the double bout of illness, with coronavirus already having taken more than 1,000 lives in the UK in less than a month.

Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGorleston's James Paget University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But Joy, who runs activities for others at her small Suffolk residential home and is described by her family as “amazingly fit and healthy for her age”, is now back at home after a nine to 10-day stay in hospital.

MORE: All of the coronavirus news in Suffolk

She has credited NHS staff with her recovery, saying to them: “Thank you for the wonderful care.”

Joy, who has three children and seven grandchildren, also said she was “absolutely overjoyed at how helpful and brilliant everyone was at the hospital”, adding that she “couldn’t fault them for helping so many people”.

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Grandson Toby Basil, of Leiston, said: “To begin with, it was a suspected chest infection or pneumonia because of the way the symptoms presented themselves.

“When we found out that she had tested positive for both coronavirus and pneumonia, my mum thought that was it. I was a little bit more positive about it as I try to see the best and be optimistic, but mum was very worried.

“They kept her in for nine to 10 days, monitoring her temperature and looking after her. We weren’t able to see her.

“After nine days, she was not getting any worse and she was so chirpy and full of energy - so they felt it was better for her to get out of the environment where she could get it again.

“At 94, that’s amazing in itself. She’s done remarkably well.

“She said every member of staff was brilliant. She couldn’t fault the care - everyone was so lovely.”

Joy is now in isolation at her residential home for another 14 days, to make sure she doesn’t come into contact with anyone else and unwittingly pass on the virus.

Even though Joy appears to have beaten coronavirus, Mr Basil - who calls her a “miracle lady” and “supergran” - said her illness shows the huge dangers of coronavirus and the need for people to stick to social distancing rules.

“I was shocked that gran had got it,” he said. “She only regularly comes into contact with about 20 people because she lives in a very small residential home, not a care home.

“That puts into perspective how this virus is spreading. I don’t think people appreciate how easy it is to get it. People don’t seem to understand that.”


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