An heroic band of doctors and nurses saved Garry Dissington's life several times during his eight months in hospital recovering from Covid-19.

The 57-year-old grandfather remembers very little because he spent most of it in a coma.

But he does recall the Facetime pep talks delivered by his son.

Gary junior, a truck driver, would tell him: "Come on dad! Get through this! Crack on!"

His dad, an otherwise healthy taxi driver from Shaw, was struck down by coronavirus during the first wave of the disease and was admitted to Royal Oldham Hospital on March 29 where he suffered a string of setbacks and was placed in an induced coma.

But he appeared to heed his son's words of encouragement and he was finally discharged on November 13 with the applause of the staff at Rochdale Infirmary ringing in his hears after almost eight months in hospital.

Garry Dissington leaves Rochdale Infirmary eight months after being admitted with Covid 19

He didn't know it but while he was in hospital his daughter delivered his sixth grandchild.

Daughter Chanelle, 27, asked if anything was crucial in her father's amazing recovering, said: "It was speaking to him on the phone on Facetime. He can't remember much but that's the one thing he remembers, my brother saying 'come on dad, get through this, let's crack on'. He said that's what made him pull through."

Garry Dissington get's a Facetime message from wife Kathleen and daughter Chanelle

Nurses would hand Garry an iPad so he could still communicate with close family members, who weren't allowed to visit as part of efforts to prevent the spread of infection.

Five days after he was first admitted to Royal Oldham, Garry's condition deteriorated and he went into the intensive care unit where he was put in a ventilator and placed in an induced coma for the next three months.

Garry Dissington in hospital

He was taken off the ventilator but relapsed and was put back on it again, and placed back into an induced coma.

He suffered problems with his kidneys and was placed on dialysis machine. His blood pressure dropped and he suffered a number of seizures.

"I think they saved his life a good few times in hospital. I could not be more grateful. They deserve a medal, all of them," said Chanelle.

Garry spent the last few weeks of his recovery in the Floyd Unit of Rochdale Infirmary, which specialises in brain injuries.

"He learned to walk again. He learned to do everything again pretty much," said Chanelle.

Garry Dissington (centre) with his daughter Chanelle and son Gary

She went on: "He's doing well. He's nowhere near what he was. He can only walk eight or ten steps. He still struggles in ways. He gets out of breath. But considering what he's been through he's doing really well. He definitely knows how lucky he was. He's counting his blessings.

"At first he didn't realise how poorly he had been. We didn't really tell him. He now realises how lucky he has been."

Garry Dissington had been fit and healthy before he was struck down

Dr Redmond Tully, consultant at Royal Oldham Hospital, said: "I am over the moon to see Gary leave hospital today, he is a true fighter, his recovery is remarkable, and testimony to the great care he received at The Royal Oldham and Rochdale Infirmary.

"Gary was first admitted after being struck down with Covid-19 during the first wave, he was really very poorly, and for us to see him now well enough to go home to his family, including his wife and newborn granddaughter, is truly amazing."

Dr Tully said Gary had helped with vital Covid-19 research during his time in hospital.

He said: "We also owe Gary our gratitude because has also personally added to our knowledge of how to treat Covid-19 by being the first patient at The Royal Oldham to be recruited to the national urgent public health RECOVERY trial into treatments for Covid-19.

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"Thanks to him and thousands of other people like him, we now have a cheap and readily available treatment that we know reduces the risk of death from Covid-19.”