Nurse who was in coma for 40 days due to COVID-19 applauded by colleagues after hospital discharge

A nurse in England who spent 40 days in a coma due to COVID-19 received a warm send-off from her colleagues when she was discharged from the hospital.

On July 20, Ayesha Orlanda was recorded being discharged from the Bradford Royal Infirmary in Bradford, where she is also a senior nurse in the hospital’s acute dialysis unit.

Footage shows Orlanda, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in May, being pushed in a wheelchair towards the exit of the hospital as her colleagues applauded her. Both Orlanda and a nurse who was pushing her chair can be seen tearing up in the video.

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“I want to extend my gratitude to all the staff who cared for me – they kept me alive, kept encouraging me and were there for me. I feel like I have been given a second chance at life. I am one of the lucky ones,” Orlanda said, according to an NHS news release.

Orlanda was in the hospital for 67 days, spending 40 of those days in a coma in the intensive care unit, according to the NHS release.

“I learnt a lot from this journey – it’s really hard to be a patient when you’re a nurse,” Orlanda said. “I understand so much now about how important it is to be there for your patients, to spend time talking to them and to try and slow down. Be patient with your patients.”

Sonya Tetley, the matron for cardiology and respiratory at the hospital and whose team tended to Orlanda, said, “We are absolutely delighted to see Ayesha being discharged today. She’s been in hospital a long time and it’s been very traumatic for her, but she’s made a brilliant recovery and we are very proud of her.”

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The U.K., one of the countries hardest hit by the virus, has been slowly re-opening while imposing new accompanying social distancing measures, such as mandating masks in stores and on public transport — but not in offices.

As of July 21, the U.K. has over 297,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 45,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Storyful contributed to this report.