A 68-year-old cried as he left Lewisham Hospital as he was given a guard of honour from the staff who'd cared for him during his two month stay as a Covid-19 patient, staying he was "lucky to be alive."

Peter Goss, from Welling, says he lost conscious in the ambulance and woke up six weeks later, after he fell seriously with coronavirus in March.

Despite things looking dire and his wife Sarah being told to prepare for the worst, Peter has now been able to reunite with his family and friends.

In a tearful exist, NHS staff clapped and cheered the 68-year-old as he was wheeled out of University Hospital Lewisham on the road to recovery.

Also tearful, Sarah described it as "hell" waiting for him to wake up, until one day "someone flipped a switch" and Peter was back.

After the whole ordeal was over, he and his wife revealed a bit more about their story. 

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“I started to feel unwell around 12 March,” said Peter. “I didn’t have symptoms of Covid-19 – no cough, no breathing problems – but I was very tired and achy and had no appetite.

"My wife Sarah called NHS 111 and they sent an ambulance."

The paramedic checked Peter's blood pressure and said he was fine, but he deteriorated over the weekend and on Monday, Sarah was again forced to call NHS 111.

Whilst his vital signs were fine, the doctor arranged for an ambulance to come pick him up and take him to Lewisham Hospital the next morning to have a blood test.

“I was able to walk downstairs but in the ambulance I lost consciousness,” said Peter. “I remember nothing from that moment until I woke up six weeks later.”

Sarah said she waited two hours after watching him leave before a doctor phoned and told her Peter was on a ventillator in intensive care.

X-rays showed that his lungs were severely infected, and they were treating him as if he had Covid-19.

 “This was a complete shock for me,” said Sarah. “It never entered my head it could be Covid-19 as this was in the early days of the disease.

"It was hell for me just waiting at home for news," she added.

"I wasn’t allowed to visit but fortunately the staff were brilliant at keeping in touch and called me regularly.”

Peter tested positive for Covid-19, and had developed Covid pneumonia which caused him to remain on the ventilator for a week while receiving antibiotic treatment.

On March 26, he was moved to Linden Ward and seemed to be stable, although he was still on antibiotics and needed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help with his breathing.

Then, on Sunday 29 March, a doctor called Sarah telling her to prepare for the worst.

Peter was gravely ill; he wasn’t responding to treatment, his breathing was very rapid and his sodium levels were too high.

"I was in a daze and didn't know what to do," said Sarah.

“At 4.30pm the next day they called again and said Peter had taken a turn for the worse and could I go to the hospital.

"No visitors were allowed at this time so I knew it was serious.

"When I got there I put on PPE and was taken to his bed. He was unconscious, and I sat there for hours talking to him and holding his hand.”

From that moment onward, Peter began to improve, Sarah's visit clearly giving him the boost he needed.

He was weaned off oxygen and antibiotics and eventually transferred to Juniper ward, where he woke up.

“The doctor rang and said ‘I’ve got some good news for you – your husband just told me to f--- off!’” said Sarah.

A speech therapist used Peter’s phone to Facetime Sarah every day, although at the beginning he was unresponsive.   

“He managed to say ‘I miss my dogs’ but he didn’t seem to recognise me and kept falling asleep,” said Sarah.

“Then one day my phone rang and it was Peter talking completely normally.

"I couldn’t believe it. It was completely out of the blue.

"Later that day the speech therapist Facetimed me and said Peter wanted to talk to me again.

"When I saw him looking at me normally I burst into tears. He was back. It was like someone had flipped a switch.”

Cognitive tests showed that he’d made a full recovery and from then on he was determined to get home. He began working with physiotherapists to help regain his strength and mobility.

“I was so weak,” said Peter. “The physios got me sitting on the side of the bed and standing up.

"They were amazing – the help from them was second to none. Eventually I was able to walk across the ward and back unaided.”


Peter had lost two stone in hospital and was put on a special diet to build up his strength, and he was full of praise for the food.

“Once the food tube was taken out, I was eating three-course meals at lunch and dinner,” said Peter.

“The food was out of this world – Shepherd’s pie, braised lamb, salmon en croute – it was amazing. I ate everything.”

Finally, on 7 May, Peter was allowed to go home.

As he was wheeled out of the ward by two of his physios, he was overwhelmed to see the doctors, nurses and therapists who’d cared for him lining the route and clapping.

“I knew the staff were going to do a guard of honour,” said Sarah.

“They’d got to know him during his time in hospital and never once did they give up on him.

"They were all so happy he’d pulled through. The video is amazing – I’ve shown it to all our friends and family and it reduces everyone to tears!”

Peter is now at home recuperating and looking forward to having a meal at the table with Sarah and walking their two German Shepherds.

“The care was incredible,” he said. “The nurses, doctors, physios, therapists were all brilliant.

"I feel so lucky to be alive.”