Hanoi hospital discharges Covid-19 British patient with blood cancer

By Chi Le   April 13, 2020 | 08:06 pm PT
Hanoi hospital discharges Covid-19 British patient with blood cancer
Dixong John Garth reunites with his wife Shan Coralie Barker as he is discharged from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi on April 13, 2020. Photo by the hospital.
‘If we got sick in Britain, we might not have been saved,’ said a grateful nurse whose husband was discharged Monday night.  

Dixong John Garth, 74, one of the critical Covid-19 patients in Vietnam, was released from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi Monday night after over a month of treatment.

Garth is the 28th Covid-19 patient in Vietnam. He was confirmed positive on March 8.

"Patient 28" had arrived in Hanoi March 2 on Vietnam Airlines flight VN54 with his wife. That flight also carried 15 other patients, most of them British.

The couple were touring the northern province of Quang Ninh when they were taken to a quarantine camp on March 6. They both tested positive later and were transferred to the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases for treatment on March 13.

As an elderly patient suffering blood cancer for 10 years, the process of treating Garth was not easy.

On March 22, he needed respiratory support and was given an oxygen mask.

On March 27, Garth was put on a ventilator, basically a machine that breathes for the patient, and was moved to intensive care.

Ten days later, doctors at the hospital and leading experts on resuscitation in Vietnam got together and kept a close eye on his condition, along with other critical Covid-19 patients at the hospital.

They had made many adjustments to the treatment regimen to find what suited him best.

On April 5, Garth started to show signs of recovery, not needing the ventilator, and able to do with just respiratory support. Three days later, he was able to breathe on his own without any support.

On April 13, his samples tested negative the fourth time and he was deemed fully recovered.

His wife, Shan Coralie Barker, 67, was discharged on April 2. Since then, she stayed at the hospital for the mandated 14-day health monitoring period, waiting for her husband.

After Garth’s discharge, the couple flew back home on a flight arranged by the British government for their citizens.

Barker, a nurse herself, lavished praise on the Vietnamese medical staff before leaving.

"If we got sick in Britain, we might have not been saved.

"When learning that we both had had Covid-19, I was in shock. As a nurse, I knew that my husband was in critical condition and that his life was threatened when seeing that he was sent to intensive care."

Dong Phu Khiem, deputy head of the resuscitation department at the hospital, said: "When seeing the wife step in and reunite with the husband, we see that all of our efforts have been repaid. That is true happiness!"

The British man brings the number of discharges in Vietnam to 146.

The nation has confirmed 265 cases so far, and 119 are still under treatment.

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