A Beckenham man who recovered from coronavirus and a stroke which required emergency neurosurgery feels he has been “handed another chance at life.”

Primary teacher Richard Studd, 54, was rushed to hospital in March after he was found unconscious by colleagues, where a CT scan revealed he had experienced a bleed in the centre of his brain.

As he recuperated from an invasive procedure which relieved excess fluid, a routine coronavirus swab revealed he has been tested positive.

Richard said: “I can only describe the experience as a terrible ordeal; there’s no doubt that I came very close to meeting my Maker.

“I don’t think I will ever forget the moment the doctor told me that the damage in my brain was healing – I could have cried with joy! I feel as though I have been handed another chance at life.

“The stroke left me with extreme fatigue, and I’ve had support from physiotherapy and occupational therapy to help me on the road to recovery.

“But one of the most important things I have is a positive attitude. I’m taking things one step at a time.”

Bassel Zebian, consultant neurosurgeon at King’s, paid tribute to his “incredible fighting spirit.”

Dr Zebian said: “Richard became very unwell, and we all had major concerns that he may not make it through his illness.

“Just over a week after his admission he required a ventilator to breathe due to the effect COVID-19 had on his lungs.

“He also developed kidney failure and had to undergo dialysis. The whole team worked tirelessly to give Richard the best chance of survival.

“Richard also showed an incredible fighting spirit. I can confidently now say that he has made an excellent recovery.”