Ho Chi Minh City chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong paid a visit to a British COVID-19 patient, considered Vietnam’s most critically ill one, in the hospital on Wednesday, seeing him “very conscious” as he continues to be on the mend.
“Patient No. 91 is making a marvelous recovery,” Phong said at Cho Ray Hospital in District 5, referring to how Vietnam numbers the Briton.
“He was on the verge of death a few times and we once thought of a lung transplant [to save him].
“Relentless efforts by medical teams at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases and Cho Ray Hospital have helped him recover, bringing hope to the patient.
“I have been informed of his conditions, reading media reports.
“Now I see him very conscious.”
Chairman Phong called the health workers treating the British patient “excellent soldiers” on the COVID-19 front.
Vietnam has kept the coronavirus under control but people should not be complacent, he warned, adding that everyone should take preventative measures to curb transmission at a time when the pandemic is still raging in surrounding countries.
The 43-year-old patient, a Vietnam Airlines pilot, was confirmed as the country’s COVID-19 patient No. 91 in mid-March.
He was admitted to the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases on March 18 with a damaged right lung.
His condition then got worse and worse, leading to him relying on life support while in a coma for about three months.
He suffered multi-organ failure and was closer to death than ever.
Doctors even planned to resort to a lung transplant to rescue him, as his lungs were badly damaged by the disease.
Medications then worked to clear him of the coronavirus following his treatment at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases in District 5.
He was transferred to Cho Ray Hospital on May 22 with his lungs still severely damaged.
He has been making a remarkable recovery ever since.
He woke up from the coma, was able to unlock his phone and iPad with passwords, talked to doctors, moved his arms and legs, wrote on a board, sunbathed daily, and practiced walking with health workers’ help.
He has been taken off life support. Doctors say he no longer needs lung transplantation, as the patient has regained most of his lung functions.
Patient No. 91 needs more time for recovery, said Tran Thanh Linh, deputy chief of Cho Ray’s intensive care unit, which is treating the Briton.
“His condition was truly critical when he was admitted to the hospital,” Linh said.
“We didn’t dare to believe he would recover.”
Vietnam has reported 335 COVID-19 cases to date, with 325 recoveries and zero deaths, according to Ministry of Health figures.
The Southeast Asian nation has documented no community-transmitted infections for two months.