"I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy:" Doncaster man leaves hospital after 125-day Covid battle

This is the moving moment a Doncaster Army veteran was cheered and clapped by medics after spending 125 days in hospital battling Covid.

By Darren Burke
Friday, 6th August 2021, 1:32 pm

Brian Keogan, 50, has said he wouldn’t wish the virus on his worst enemy after a gruelling battle with coronavirus at Doncaster Royal Infimrary which saw him fall into a coma and close to death.

And Brian, who is still using oxygen and a wheelchair despite being allowed home, is urging everyone to get vaccinated against the virus.

He first caught Covid in March – and has spent the last four months seriously ill and still faces a long recovery ahead of him.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Brian Keogan walks out of hospital after 125 days battling Covid.

Catching the vrius before he was eligible for a vaccine, he has been in an induced coma, developed sepsis, suffered a collapsed lung and given a 40% chance of survival.

His lungs are now scarred, he finds it difficult to walk and a machine provides him with 0.5 litres of oxygen every minute.

He said: “I was probably of the opinion that it won't happen to me. I think a lot of people are, but I think I'm living proof that it does, considering that I'd never even visited a doctor for eight years prior to catching this.

He said: “I would not like to see anyone go through what I've gone through, and if by me doing this makes just one person just one person sit up and think 'I don't want that', then that's it.

Brian said: "I was doing some stuff in the garden, I was just carrying on as normal and I noticed that I sort of had a shortness of breath.

"I was more lethargic than normal so I decided to take a test.

"I had been taking tests every week for work anyway and had tested negative just the week before.

"So I took a lateral flow test on the Monday and it came back positive, so I took a PCR test on the Tuesday just to confirm that it was positive."

After his positive test Brian and his family self-isolated but by Friday Brian's condition had deteriorated. An ambulance was called and he was rushed into A&E.

On March 12, he was admitted to the respiratory ward at Doncaster Royal Infirmary with shortness of breath and also some loss of smell.

Brian said: "I was put on oxygen just to improve my stats but I was able to walk around and go to the toilet by myself.

"But things just weren't improving. I think it was day two and I told the nurse I was going to go and have a shower, but they told me that the doctor was going to come and see me as I was very pale.

"After he saw me I was moved down to the end of the ward to the more acute area.

"From there I had days were I felt better and then others were I didn't again. It was like that vicious cycle for a while.

"They tried various drugs that they had success with on me to no avail."

But things kept getting worse for Brian and after almost a month in hospital on April 2, his daughters birthday, he was put on a ventillator, sedated and put into an induced coma.

Brian said: "I was put into a coma basically to slow all of my body functions down.

"But whilst I was under I also developed sepsis, my family were brought in and told that I had a 40 percent chance of survival.

"I couldn't see them prior to that because of Covid and I hadn't seen my family from when I was admitted into hospital.

"They had come in to see me before I went under, but I was so heavily sedated I wasn't with it and I couldn't remember seeing them."

He also suffered a collapsed lung and had to have a tracheostomy fitted to help him breathe.

Brian said: "It was a really hard time for my wife and family as it kept looking like I was improving and then something else would happen.

"It looked like I was getting better, then I had the collapsed lung.

"I was hallucinating a lot and I didn't really know what had happened for the last month of my life.

On July 14 doctors felt that Brian had improved enough that he was able to be discharged from hospital.

An emotional video was posted on the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Foundation Trust Facebook page of nurses and doctors clapping as he finally left after 125 days.

He said: "If speaking out can help just one person to decide to be jabbed it will be worth it as I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy."