An NHS Tayside staff member was applauded by staff at Ninewells yesterday as he was discharged from the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) after 86 days.
Professor Grant McIntyre is a consultant orthodontist and Clinical Director for Dundee Dental Hospital. After becoming unwell with COVID-19 at the end of March, Grant was admitted to Ninewells Hospital and has spent almost three months receiving ICU treatment.
Forty-nine-year-old Grant, who lives in Perthshire, spent around a week in Ninewells before being moved to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for six weeks where he received ECMO treatment, a technique which provides cardiac and respiratory support to sustain blood oxygenation levels, like an artificial lung.
Since returning to Ninewells, his condition has steadily improved and yesterday he was moved out of the COVID-19 ICU and into a respiratory ward. Grant was the last remaining patient to be discharged from the unit and had the longest stay in COVID-19 ICU in Tayside.
Grant explains, “When I was first admitted, I knew my condition was really deteriorating fast and I don’t have any memories from much of my initial stay in Ninewells or my time in Aberdeen. I woke up back in the ICU and was totally oblivious to what day it was, how much time had passed or that I’d even left Ninewells.
“I’m told that I am the ‘sickest survivor’ of COVID-19 in Tayside and I really can’t thank the healthcare teams enough for saving my life.
“Knowing that my family and friends have been praying for me has been a huge help, and the support from my colleagues has been breathtaking. If it wasn’t for the lockdown they would have been queuing up outside the unit. I can’t even begin to thank everyone who has supported me during this time.
“It’s a really big step for me to be moving on to a normal ward and I’m feeling optimistic about my recovery. Hopefully I can get home to my family in the not-too-distant future.”
Grant’s wife Amanda added, “I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the clinical and non-clinical teams in Ninewells Hospital and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary who have looked after Grant so far, and all those who will help him with his future care and rehabilitation.
“So many families have been affected by the virus in very different ways. Our family have been enormously grateful for the support from all our friends and the wider community during the last three months.”
ICU staff nurse Tracey Brady, part of the team which has been caring for Grant, said, “Grant has been through a long and difficult journey since his admission in March and he has shown amazing strength of character throughout. We all wish him well with his continued recovery.”
Medical Director Professor Peter Stonebridge added his well wishes to Grant. He said, “I am so pleased that Grant has now left the ICU. It is a great step forward given how unwell he was and I look forward to seeing him continue to make progress.”