An Northumberland grandad who spent weeks in intensive care battling coronavirus has thanked the "fantastic" medics who saved his life.

When David Borrow's condition deteriorated after contracting Covid-19, his family were told to expect the worst.

But the 64-year-old made a miraculous recovery against all odds and has now been discharged from hospital.

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The grandad-of-three accompanied his wife Susan Borrow, 62, to get a Covid test in January after she began experiencing a cough.

At the time the former HGV driver had been suffering with fatigue but did not think much of it.

A member of staff at the test centre encouraged David to get tested at the same time - and they both returned positive results.

The couple went into isolation and their Haltwhistle home, but it was David who began to decline after experiencing worsening symptoms of the virus.

Daughter Gayle, son-in-law Peter and grandchildren Cerys and Zach visiting David outside the RVI
Daughter Gayle, son-in-law Peter and grandchildren Cerys and Zach visiting David outside the RVI

After having paramedics out just days before, it was on January 29 when they phoned for another ambulance and he was taken to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

He said: "I just felt effortless. I could not breathe. I was having dizzy spells, I had a bad head and I was struggling to even get upstairs.

"My legs were numb and I just felt like everything was closing down."

His condition continued to deteriorate and just a few days later doctors felt they had no choice but to put him in an induced coma.

David's loving family were told to prepare for the worst with medics unsure if he would pull through.

His daughter Gayle Nixon said: "It was absolutely horrific. We had no idea which way he was going to go.

"The most traumatic thing was not being able to be by dad's side.

"I'm now a community nurse and I was going to see Covid patients every week and holding their hands but I wasn't able to go and see my own dad.

"The first two weeks doctors could not tell us if he would survive. His lungs were really bad and he was struggling to breathe on his own."

But, remarkably, battling David's condition improved after he was proned - the process of being turned on his front to increase oxygen flow to the lungs - and underwent a tracheotomy.

David Borrow spent more than two weeks in intensive care at the RVI in Newcastle
David Borrow spent more than two weeks in intensive care at the RVI in Newcastle

To his family's relief, David pulled through and woke up delirious in intensive care having no idea why he was in hospital.

When he was well enough he was clapped out of the high dependency unit with doctors amazed at how quickly he recovered from being at death's door.

David, who is a grandad to Cerys, 11, Zach, eight, and Ella, two, said: "It was a huge shock. I couldn't believe how bad I had been.

"All the nurses were absolutely fantastic.

"I remember one nurse, Nicola, who managed to help me come round.

Daughter Gayle Nixon visiting her dad with puppy Riley at the RVI
Daughter Gayle Nixon visiting her dad with puppy Riley at the RVI

"When I first came round I thought I'd lost the use of my legs. I had no feeling in them at all.

"I just can't thank the staff enough. They have gone into work during the pandemic and put their lives at risk to save others."

His family are full of praise of the hard-working and caring staff at the RVI who looked after David during tough conditions in the third wave of the pandemic.

They let him see his beloved family through video calls before wheeling him outside to see them face to face.

To thank the NHS for saving their dad's life, Gayle will join brothers Craig and Paul in walking the length of Hadrian's Wall over four days at the end of the month for the Newcastle Hospitals Charity.

The charity supports projects that help to improve the health and wellbeing of Newcastle Hospitals' patients, staff and the wider community through compassionate and innovative healthcare, education and research.

The Borrow family. L-R: Craig, Gayle, David, Susan and Paul
The Borrow family. L-R: Craig, Gayle, David, Susan and Paul

A JustGiving page has been set up which has raised more than £1,200 so far with the family overwhelmed with the generosity of the public.

"There is nothing we can do thank the staff for saving dad's life, Gayle said. "We wish we could do more.

"We've been blown away by the support. It means the world for us to do this because they saved our dad who is so precious to us."

Since returning home, David has been experiencing a number of flashbacks of his time in hospital which have affected him psychologically.

He also later discovered he had suffered a heart attack when he was being sedated in hospital.

He is still suffering with the effects of Covid-19 including breathlessness, as is wife Susan who has been diagnosed with Long Covid.

"I've had a bad head, eyesight affected and I sleep during the day sometimes," David said.

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"I'm taking it easy. I was told in hospital that every day spent in intensive care is a month to recover. So I will be needing around 15 months to recover.

"Then to find out I'd had a heart attack too in intensive care and still pulled through.

"My family say I'm a 'tough old sod'.

"I do feel lucky to be alive.

"I also don't think paramedics have had enough recognition during the pandemic. If they weren't so adamant that I was going to hospital then God knows what would have happened.

"I'm so proud of my children for doing this challenge and I can't wait to hand over the final cheque to those doctors and nurses who saved my life to thank them in person."

Do donate, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/borrow