‘Have hope’ - Family of coronavirus survivor with health issues, 76, encourages others

Ian Mckim with his granddaughter (left). Photo: Gemma Pinder

Ian Mckim with his granddaughter (left). Photo: Gemma Pinder - Credit: Archant

The family of a 76-year-old with multiple health conditions believes his recovery from coronavirus shows people should not “automatically assume the worst” if they contract the disease.

Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Ian McKim from Great Yarmouth has diabetes, heart problems and a chronic lung disorder – as well as being at risk of serious complications because of his age.

But despite being admitted to the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, after breaking his hip and contracting Covid-19 while there, he has made a full recovery and is on his way to Beccles Hospital for mobility treatment.

Mr McKim was at his granddaughter’s first birthday party on March 14 when he fell.

His daughter-in-law Gemma Pinder, who works in the care sector, knew the implications of sending him to hospital at a time when the coronavirus pandemic was spreading across the UK, and Norfolk hospitals were preparing for a “surge” in cases.

She said: “We prepared ourselves for the worst because he’s so unwell and his chances of surviving coronavirus, if he were to catch it, were slim.”

While in hospital for his broken hip, Mr McKim was tested for the virus on the basis of his “clinical risk” and found positive.

He was moved into an isolation room where he was monitored by hospital staff.

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But he showed no serious symptoms of the disease and after two weeks was fit to be discharged, leaving him feeling “confident and upbeat”, according to Ms Pinder.

She said: “He always has been a fighter, but I think there will be a lot of people like him who will survive despite the odds. The fact that he had coronavirus – and has come out fine - shows that there are older people and those with underlying conditions who will buck the trend.

“The staff at the James Paget hospital were absolutely fantastic. They kept us updated with everything, isolated him as soon as he tested positive and made sure he wasn’t left feeling alone.”

She added: “The community have been so supportive of him and his wife Heather, who unfortunately he cannot see as she is at risk and is social distancing.

“But all of us are so relieved, and wanted to share this positive story to encourage people to have hope at this difficult time.”