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Dub dad who fought virus for 100 days is finally home

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Vera Murray says husband Andrew was saved by his ‘strong heart’

Vera Murray says husband Andrew was saved by his ‘strong heart’

Vera Murray says husband Andrew was saved by his ‘strong heart’

A Dublin man has returned home after more than 100 days in hospital with Covid-19, five weeks of which he spent in an induced coma.

Andrew Murray (61) was finally reunited with his wife Vera in his Coolock home yesterday, after first being taken to Beaumont Hospital on March 22 with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

After a week in isolation there, Ms Murray was called to say that her husband would be put into an induced coma for a week, while a ventilator would help him overcome the virus.

"But it wasn't a week, it was five weeks," Ms Murray told the Herald.

Anxious

"I thought I'd never see him again. I was just anxious and so upset, I really just thought he was going to die.

"They were never able to commit to saying he was going to be OK, so every day was a challenge. They just said they didn't know because they didn't know what it would bring."

Ms Murray said that in those five weeks, she began to lose hope as her husband's body began to shut down.

First, after only a few days in a coma, Mr Murray had to have an emergency operation on his bowel, which had failed.

A hernia surrounding his bowel was also addressed, leaving Mr Murray with a wound that is still "slowly closing".

Then the Dubliner's lungs collapsed and had to be pumped, and he was also placed on dialysis.

He also had to have emergency surgery to have a stoma installed and a tracheotomy.

While also affected by the virus, Ms Murray said that his "strong heart" was all that saved her husband.

"They didn't think he'd make it through the surgery. They said it was very risky with him being so sick," she said.

"He was touch and go all the time. Some days his breathing was good and some days it wasn't. They always just said he wasn't out of the woods.

"They said his heart did get infected but that he has a strong heart and that's what saved him, because every other part of his body was riddled with it.

After waking up from his coma on April 27, Mr Murray spent a period more in ICU before, a month later, being moved to Clontarf Hospital, where he had rehabilitation for two-and-a-half months.

When he first woke up, Ms Murray, who first appeared on Virgin Media News yesterday, said he had very little function over his body. However, yesterday he was able to walk out of Clontarf Hospital.

"When he woke up he couldn't walk, he couldn't feel his legs or anything. He had to build up his strength," Ms Murray told the Herald.

"He walked out of the hospital yesterday. He's a tough man, I'm just so happy. I thought when he woke up he would be fine he'd be able to sit up talking and everything but he couldn't even sit up.

"He was like a baby again. They had to teach him how to do everything again - he had to start from scratch."

The pair, who have been married for 37 years and have three adult children, are now happily reunited back at home.

When Mr Murray was first taken to hospital, the number of people who had contracted Covid-19 in Ireland stood at 906 and only four people had died from the virus.

Transformation

At that stage in Ireland, to go through what the Dubliner did would have been unheard of.

As of yesterday, however, Ireland has had 25,498 cases and 1,740 Covid-19-related deaths.

In that space of time, Ireland has also gone from political deadlock, to the formation of an unprecedented Government.

"They didn't tell him anything that happened to him. He still doesn't really know," Ms Murray said.

"He doesn't know how the virus has spread or how bad it's gotten because he couldn't watch the news when he was in the ICU.

"He won't know until he's told in the next couple of weeks. It's a completely different world.

"We're so happy to be back together again. It's great. He feels grand and he's happy to be home. All the staff did so well to get him back to where he is."