After ICU: a Covid patient meets one of the doctors who saved his life


More than a quarter of Covid patients admitted to hospital in England during the early months of the pandemic died of the disease. ICU staff were so concerned about the effects this data was having on patients that some put up posters reading: “Most people leave here alive.”

One of those who did was Karl Gray, a 60-year-old Salvation Army minister from north London. He was admitted to Homerton hospital, in Hackney, in the UK’s first wave on 4 April. He couldn’t breathe. The last thing he remembers is the ambulance reversing into the bay. The rest is blank.

One of the medics who worked to save his life was Dr Susan Jain, who describes the unprecedented scenes in NHS hospitals as they worked against a virus they did not fully understand, without a vaccine in sight.

The Guardian’s Sirin Kale tells Rachel Humphreys how she reunited Susan and Karl for a recent magazine article and the emotion that it brought out in both of them. They discussed faith, family and the wider societal response to Covid over the past 18 months. And what it means to survive a disease that has killed more than 130,000 people in the UK.

After ICU: a Covid patient meets one of the doctors who saved his life
Photograph: Harry Borden/The Guardian

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