A beloved member of the team at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn has recently returned to work following a long battle with COVID-19.
Roger Fisher, Clinical Site Manager, part of the Site Team at the Trust, had his first day back on site this week after months of hospitalisation fighting COVID-19.
After receiving a positive COVID-19 swab in April, Roger began his two weeks of self-isolating, but a few days later his condition deteriorated and he was admitted to the hospital before being transferred to Critical Care shortly after his arrival.
During his time in hospital, Roger spent 5 days ventilated, before he was transferred to Papworth to be on a supported breathing machine. Eventually, Roger was able to return to QEH, where he remained on Necton ward for the remainder of his stay.
Roger’s return has been a highly anticipated affair and members of Team QEH from across the Trust were really excited to see him again.
On his arrival, Roger commented: “I was nervous and apprehensive to come back to work, but I was so excited to see everyone again. Occupational Health and my manager, Carole, have been excellent and have helped me ease back into the routine by doing a phased return. The rest of my team have been really supportive.”
Roger was asleep for almost a month whilst on different machines to aid his breathing. Reflecting on this he said: “Waking up was really strange as national lockdown had happened while I was asleep! When I woke up in June, I was so confused, not to mention in a different hospital. It was surreal to see everyone social distancing and wearing masks and adapting to all the changes I had missed.”
“You miss the little things like the wind on your face – I also really craved raspberries and fresh fruit. It was such a euphoric feeling getting my sense of taste and smell back; almost like a second chance at life.”
COVID-19 has impacted Roger’s health in other ways including renal difficulties and clots on his lungs.
Roger has worked at the QEH for over 26 years, starting his career as a Staff Nurse, before becoming a Ward Manager and transferring to the Site Team where he worked for the last ten years. He is well-known across the hospital and loved by his team.
He said: “There have been so many people who have been pleased to see me – it’s been lovely. I saw Tim, another QEH team member who was hospitalised with COVID-19, it was really surreal seeing him.
“When you are poorly, being a Nurse is double-edged sword. On one hand being able to understand everything that was going on around me was helpful, but at other times, I really didn’t want to know.”
Dr April Brown, Chief Nurse, commented: “It’s so fantastic to see Roger returning to work. His recovery journey has been exceptionally challenging and it is a big morale boost for the entire QEH team to see such a well-liked colleague returning after such a long time. Welcome back Roger!”
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