FATIMA’S story will give hope to others, such as TV presenter Kate Garraway whose husband Derek Draper has been in hospital since March.
For Fatima spent a remarkably long time on a ventilator and her recovery so far is equally remarkable.
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Covid-19 is a new infection so experts still don’t know all about it.
It has been clear from the start seriously ill patients need the help of a ventilator because they are no longer able to breathe for themselves.
The most common method is via a tube down the windpipe attached to the ventilator. But this does present dangers.
Within ten days, a tracheostomy is often done through the neck to ease pressure on the windpipe, save vocal cords and reduce the need for sedatives.
Fatima's amazing stats
40 days in a coma
105 days on ventilation
120 days in intensive care
130 days in hospital so far, from March 12 to July 19
Apart from the risk also of life-threatening lung infections, long-term ventilating has also been linked with muscle weakness, nerve problems, and nutritional complications.
Some half of patients who need a ventilator survive. Not using one if needed tends to be fatal quickly.
But a lot of research is going on into what many now call “long Covid” — a condition that has both physical and mental health symptoms.
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