Jul 12, 2020 / 22:25

British Covid-19 patient returns home after miraculous recovery in Vietnam

The Hanoitimes - A Briton pilot who became an emblem of Vietnam's battle against coronavirus was discharged from hospital with a virus-free confirmation.

Vietnam’s most critically ill Covid-19 patient, a Briton pilot who several times was close to death, left Vietnam on July 11 night after a spectacular recovery which attracted national and worldwide attention and arrived at Heathrow airport after a 15-hour flight, local and international media reported.

Stephen Cameron, a pilot of national carrier Vietnam Airlines, became a sensation in Vietnam, where 372 coronavirus cases have been confirmed and no local transmitted infection has been reported in nearly three months.

 The US CDC's email to congratulate Cho Ray Hospital. Photo: Nguyen Hanh

In an email sent to Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, a representative of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Drew Posey, hailed the successful treatment of the Briton. Posey also cited an article "A Scottish pilot who became an emblem of Vietnam's virus fight leaves the hospital" of New York Times on the day Cameron was discharged from the hospital.

July 11 marked the end the British pilot’s Covid-19 treatment itinerary that lasted for 116 days in Vietnam.

Stephen Cameron, designated as Patient No.91, was the most critical patient in Vietnam, undergoing the longest treatment including 65 days of at Ho Chi Minh Hospital for Tropical Diseases and 51 days of intensive care and rehabilitation at Cho Ray Hospital.

To keep him alive, Vietnam's Ministry of Health had gone all out, mobilizing all leading experts in the fields of infection, respiration, resuscitation, hematology, rehabilitation among others.

Beside many national-level consultations, the medics almost made supreme efforts and resources to save the patient.

 British Covid-19 patient bids farewell to doctors in Cho Ray Hospital. Photo: Cho Ray Hospital

To repatriate the patient home, doctors carried on board of the Vietnam airlines’ plane six oxygen tanks and specialized medical equipment to ensure they could respond immediately to any health issues the patient may develop during the air trip.

The doctors had considered a lung transplant as the man's lungs were 90% damaged and non-functional. However, he now can breathe on his own and has made a full motor recovery.

“The patient's recovery has been like a very long flight,” said Dr. Tran Thanh Linh, deputy head of the  Intensive Care Unit ward at Cho Ray Hospital, at a meeting between hospital officials, the British Consulate and Vietnam Airlines representatives just before the discharge.

“But he made it. All of the health workers are overwhelmed with joy to see him fully recovered and being discharged from the hospital today,” Linh said.

After the meeting, Cameron was handed a certificate stating that he is virus-free and healthy enough to travel on a long-haul flight.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the Vietnamese people, the dedication and professionalism of the doctors and nurses working at Cho Ray Hospital,” Cameron said on July 11 morning in a video released by the hospital, where he was last treated.

“I can only thank everybody here for things that they have done,” Cameron said as he was sitting in a wheelchair next to a group of doctors. “I am going home with a happy heart because I am going home, but it is sad that I am leaving so many people here that I am friends with.”