Norwich City fan recovering after 52-day Covid hospital battle

Freddie Tanti, from Norwich, is recovering after being hospitalised for five weeks with Covid-19

Freddie Tanti with his wife Dawn spent 52 days in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital fighting Covid-19. - Credit: Tanti family

A Norwich City fan is taking his first steps to recover from Covid-19 after spending 52 days in hospital.

Freddie Tanti, from Sprowston, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on January 3 and was on a ventilator for four weeks after testing positive for coronavirus.

His family has described the last 52 days as "torture" as the 66-year-old fought the virus as well as four types of pneumonia and several blood clots.

Mr Tanti is now receiving rehabilitation at Kelling Hospital, in Holt, to learn how to walk again after suffering muscle wastage. He said it could take up to a year to recover from the effects of coronavirus.

The grandfather-of-four, who cares for his wife Dawn, said: "I remember being taken in an ambulance on January 3. After that for four weeks I cannot remember, I was on a ventilator for a month. People keep saying I have been on an amazing journey, I cannot understand what they mean by that.

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"If it wasn't for the staff I wouldn't be here. My wife kept saying to me ring your doctor, I said it's only a cold, next thing I knew I was out.

"I'm very lucky to be here."

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He said his treatment at both the NNUH and Kelling Hospital had been "beyond brilliant" and has been uplifted after messages from his beloved Norwich City, with players past and present Ben Gibson, Grant Holt, Tim Krul and Paul McVeigh sending him well wishes after his son Calum reached out to the club.

His son Daniel Tanti, 38, said it had been mentally tough as the family tried to cling on to every positive in the hope he would recover. 

He said: "Your life is on hold you wait for the one call a day and if that's bad, it's torture waiting for the next one. 

"If we were able to visit it may have helped but would you want to see your father on a ventilator? There is no escape from Covid as it's everywhere on the news, so you couldn't switch off.

"I wouldn't wish it on anyone."

Daniel's sister Kerry Lagden, who works in intensive care In Southend, would speak to the hospital about her dad's condition.

He added: "As a family it's the hardest thing we have ever had to deal with. Five weeks ago we were told it looks bleak, we started to prepare ourselves for the worst. Then out of nowhere, he fights back and now he is video calling us 3/4 times a day.

"I can't thank the staff enough, they are amazing and saved my dad's life, we owe them everything. The work they do is incredible. We should be proud of the NHS."

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