A man has finally left intensive care after a gruelling 115-day Covid-19 battle.

George Paterson, who was admitted to Mansfield's King's Mill Hospital in February, was the facility's last ICU patient, having spent almost four months in the unit.

He fell ill after travelling to Scotland for his mum's funeral, throwing up on the journey home before his condition deteriorated and his wife phoned NHS 111.

When ambulance crews reached the 54-year-old his oxygen levels were dangerously low and when he reached hospital he underwent a tracheotomy in order to help him breathe, Nottinghamshire Live reports.

Oxygen support allowed his body to rest while doctors conducted tests and provided treatment to combat the virus.

George Paterson has finally left ICU after more than three months
George Paterson has finally left ICU after more than three months

The former soldier and business owner remained in ICU for 115 days until he was moved to a step-down ward last week where he remains.

There were jubilant scenes as George was wheeled down corridors at the hospital, meaning the ICU now has no Covid patients for the first time in months.

Speaking after his transfer, his wife Tonia, 57, opened up about the "terrifying" near four-month ordeal and coping with changes to her husband's condition.

She said: "It was a roller-coaster, terrifying at times and any improvement gave positivity, things could change in a matter of hours.

George Paterson and wife Tonia
George Paterson and wife Tonia

"We didn't try to get too excited but we hoped for the best, we just plodded on throughout.

"The care was outstanding, I will never be able to thank them enough and they are absolutely amazing.

"His discharge was a relief and it was scary too, we'd got to know all the nurses on ICU as George was receiving one-to-one care.

"Going into a ward and knowing there aren't as many nurses was a bit scary, he's in a room on his own so we were worried about how he will cope.

"But it was excitement, nerves and relief rolled into one."

George, who is a staunch supporter and vice-chairman of his local Royal British Legion branch, has been recovering well in his step-down ward.

Tonia says her husband is still "confused" from time to time, but is starting to get back to his usual self.

"He's still a little bit confused but that's part of the norm apparently when you've been in intensive care for that long, and when you've been on that amount of drugs," she said.

"He had a bit of delirium though that will clear in time, but he is back to being George and has been FaceTiming people who he hasn't seen for a while.

"The tracheotomy is out now and they had to be careful because he's still got the hole in his throat, but he is eating proper meals now."

George Paterson with his family at King's Mill Hospital
George Paterson with his family at King's Mill Hospital

Speaking following the ordeal, Tonia has also warned people across the country to "be vigilant" despite lockdown restrictions easing.

She described Covid as "such a nasty disease" and urged people to understand that measures are not "for the fun of it".

"People need to be vigilant, I know hands, face, space is no guarantee, but a lot of people don't believe in it," she adds.

"They need to go to ICU to see what they have been through, what George has been through.

"It's such a nasty disease because it has a knock-on effect on everything, just be careful, listen to the experts and don't try to run before you can walk.

"Restrictions have been extended for a reason, it's not for the fun of it and it's still real."

Staff at King's Mill Hospital were videoed celebrating and clapping George as he was transferred out of ICU last week.

His discharge after 115 days marks the first time since the start of the pandemic that the hospital's intensive care unit is treating no patients.

Having seen the final ICU patient leave the ward, teams at Sherwood Forest Hospitals described the occasion as "emotional" and wished him a speedy recovery.

George Paterson fell ill after attending his mum's funeral in Scotland
George Paterson fell ill after attending his mum's funeral in Scotland

Debbie Jackson, sister on the critical care unit, said: “It was a very emotional time when George moved from the critical care unit, after so long there with us, to a ward.

"It’s been a long journey for George and his family, and he will still be recovering on a ward for some time, but it’s a step in the right direction.

"It’s always amazing to see any patient leave critical care and on their journey to recovery. We devote so much time to caring for patients like George, with the ultimate aim of getting them strong enough to recover at home or on a ward, so when that happens it’s heart-warming and rewarding to see.

"We all wish George a speedy recovery so that he can return home to be with his wife and two daughters soon.

"What made George leaving critical care even more special was that after almost 15 months of caring for patients with Covid on our critical care unit, he was the very last Covid patient remaining on the unit, which means we now currently have no Covid patients in critical care."