A dental consultant has revealed he had an “out-of-body experience” while he was on the brink of death in a Covid-19 ward.
Grant McIntyre, billed “Tayside’s sickest man”, lost four stone during a lengthy battle with the virus.
The 49-year-old was finally released from Ninewells on Thursday after 128 days and was recuperating back at his Perthshire home yesterday.
The dental consultant described his experience as “close to death”, and is only now beginning the long process of rehabilitation.
Grant, who lives in Ardargie, first began experiencing the symptoms of the virus at the end of March, just as lockdown began.
“Towards the last week of March I started to lose my appetite, and a few days later I felt pretty dreadful like I had a flu coming on,” he said.
“I ended up having an asthma attack, which resulted in me getting sent to Ninewells.
“I was given a Covid test, which came back positive and I was sent home with some steroids.”
Despite being dismissed from hospital, Grant’s condition continued to deteriorate, and he was sent back to Ninewells just days later, before being placed into an induced coma on April 1.
A long and arduous stay in hospital ensued, where he suffered from kidney failure, and was put on a dialysis machine.
He was also diagnosed with sepsis while in hospital, and suffered multiple embolisms.
He said: “My condition started to really go downhill at the beginning of April, by that point the doctors had put me into a coma.
“There was a point where the ICU doctors were out of ideas, they weren’t sure if I was going to make it through or not.
“I had an out of body experience, like I was floating up in the air, looking down on myself in the bed.
“I felt like I was near death.”
The coma lasted 50 days, with Grant being transferred to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and put on life support.
Grant spent the first half of May drifting in and out of consciousness, with very little understanding of where he was.
“When I did wake up, I heard the radio say that it was May 20,” he said. “That’s when the penny dropped and I realised my condition.
“I was cold, scared, I didn’t know what was going on. I couldn’t speak because I had a tracheotomy tube in my throat.”
While Grant was frightened when he first woke up, the NHS staff around him tried their best to keep him comfortable.
He added: “To be fair, the hospital staff were brilliant.
“They gave me information about my condition on a regular basis and made sure to keep me calm and healthy as an individual.
“The care I received was nothing short of exceptional.”
Over the course of his treatment Grant lost four stone, however, he is now going through physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
Despite the long journey to recovery ahead, the father of four is just glad to be back with his family.
He said “The last 24 hours have been just tremendous.
“I haven’t seen most of my family in over four months, so I was really glad to see them.
“My wife has been absolutely amazing too. She got some really difficult news and managed to just keep going.”
Grant, who has lived with asthma all his life, has also warned others to be wary of the virus, saying: “One message that I want to pass on to everyone is that wearing a mask when you go outside is crucial.
“Stay away from big crowds too, and practice proper hand hygiene.
“I never thought it would be me that was hit the hardest in all of Tayside.”