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'It’s difficult to express my gratitude'

02/03/2021
Rob Hutt plays with his youngest, Finley

A father-of-three who missed his son’s first birthday while he was treated for COVID-19 has praised the "excellent" care he received at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) as he continues his recovery from "the worst time" of his life.

Rob Hutt, just 38 years old, was admitted to Banbury's Horton General Hospital, run by OUH, at the end of January after experiencing breathlessness and low oxygen levels. He also had a fever, headaches, diarrhoea, muscle ache, extreme fatigue, nausea, and a cough.

After five days in hospital, he was discharged back to his young family, although he still has slight breathlessness and on-going fatigue as he continues his recovery.

Rob, from Banbury, praised staff at the Trust who helped him recover from a "relentless" and "exhausting" experience, during which he missed the first birthday of his son, Finley.

Describing his experience, he said: "I was really scared. When I first arrived at hospital I was told by a doctor that the next few days were going to be critical to my recovery.

"It was relentless and the broad range of symptoms made it exhausting to fight. I have a young family so it was heart-breaking – I missed my little boy’s first birthday so that was really tough."

He added: "The care I received was excellent and exactly what I needed. Obviously I needed immediate treatment, but what I didn't know I needed that I received in abundance was emotional support, physical care, and constant words of encouragement from the nurses, care staff, and housekeepers.

"They were all so kind, compassionate, and supportive, and treated me like a human being – and not just another patient.

"It’s difficult to express my gratitude, but thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those involved in my care for being there when I needed you most. While I was away from my family I felt like all the staff pulled together around me and become the support network that my own family would have normally provided."

Emotional, Rob felt "pure joy and relief" when he reunited with his young family.

He held his fiancé, Aggie, and kids, Emma (9), Ella (4), and Finley (1), "for a long time and told them that I loved them dearly".

They postponed Finley's birthday celebrations so they could have fun together as a family when Rob started to feel healthier.

Rob also posted on social media about his experience, urging others to do what they can to protect themselves from the virus.

He added: "I wanted to share my experience of getting COVID-19 because it was possibly the worst time of my life and had a profound effect on me as an individual, partner, and father.

"I'm an average, normal guy. I'm strong, only 38 years old, and I didn't expect COVID-19 to hit me in the way it did."

Professor Meghana Pandit, Chief Medical Officer at Oxford University Hospitals, said: "We are so pleased that Rob is able to continue his recovery back home, and that he can look forward to a bright future with his family.

"The response from staff at the Horton General Hospital, as well as those based on other sites across the Trust, has been inspiring during the pandemic, and I'd like to thank them for their hard work during the latest wave of the pandemic, as well as over the last 12 months.

“Stories like Rob's demonstrate what a positive effect their level of compassionate care has on our patients.”