Janice Benham, who recovered from breast cancer last year, is enjoying being back home with her family after 89 days at King George Hospital being treated for Covid-19.
The 63-year-old was discharged on Monday (22 June), just in time to celebrate daughter Claire’s 37th birthday today (Tuesday 23 June), along with husband Phillip. The three will be enjoying a barbeque in the back garden of the couple’s home in Peterborough Avenue, Upminster.
Janice said: “It’s lovely to be home with my family. I am a little bit anxious as I know I still have a long road to recovery, however, my husband and daughter are very good so I know I’ll get a lot of support from them.
“The hospital staff who looked after me were absolutely fantastic. The team on the respiratory ward became like a second family. They’d do really nice things like getting me a bacon sandwich, and they always shared cake with me. Little things like that really made a difference when I was away from my family for so long.”
Both Phillip and Janice contracted Covid-19 in March this year after returning from a week’s holiday in Morocco, which was to celebrate Janice getting the all-clear from breast cancer earlier this year.
Phillip, 65, first became unwell with flu-like symptoms. He said: “I started to feel better after a few days, however, then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t think it was Covid though, I thought I had the flu.
“We called an ambulance when Janice started to feel unwell with similar symptoms, a cough and breathlessness, and they took us both in. I was able to go home after four days, however, Janice got worse and had to go to intensive care. It was difficult as I couldn’t come in and see her. The ITU staff were fantastic and called me every day to keep me updated.”
Janice spent two weeks in intensive care before moving to a ward at the hospital, run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.
She added: “I really missed my family, but being able to speak to them on Skype helped.
“Everyone looking after me was so lovely, especially Mel Kyte. She was an ITU nurse who really supported me. Even when I left ITU she’d come and see me to see how I was. She was fantastic.”