Three doctors to escort British pilot back home

By Anh Duy   July 9, 2020 | 01:49 am PT
Three doctors to escort British pilot back home
Stephen Cameron talks to doctors and health officials at HCMC's Cho Ray Hospital, July 3, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Le Cam.
Vietnam will allocate three doctors to accompany a British pilot, the nation's most critically ill Covid-19 patient, on his flight back to the U.K. on Sunday.

Doctors will carry six oxygen tanks and specialized medical equipment to ensure they could respond immediately to any health issues the patient may develop during the journey, expected to last 15 hours.

Tagged "Patient 91" in Vietnam, Stephen Cameron, 43, is set to return home by a special repatriation flight Sunday.

He had spent over 100 days in hospital, but made a miraculous recovery after being comatose for over two months, surviving on ventilators before gradually regaining consciousness.

The pilot will be brought from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on Sunday night to board a flight with Vietnam Airlines, the company for which he works.

The plane is scheduled to pass by Frankfurt before landing in London and will return with some Vietnamese citizens living and working in Europe.

Cameron had been diagnosed with Covid-19 on March 18 after he attended a party at Buddha Bar & Grill, which had later become the biggest Covid-19 hub in the city with 19 related cases.

He was cured of the novel coronavirus after two months at the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases, before being transferred to Cho Ray Hospital for treatment of organ failure and physical therapy.

The pilot suffered from cytokine storm syndrome, which occurs when a patient’s immune system overreacts to the novel coronavirus attacking the body, releasing too many cytokines and damaging the organs. He relied on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) from April 6 to June 3 as fibrosis solidified most of his lungs.

He was announced to have fully recovered Monday.

Cameron's treatment attracted global attention as an example of Vietnam’s remarkable fight against the pandemic. Despite having a population of over 96 million and sharing a border with China, the country has yet to report a single Covid-19 related death.

The British embassy has said the patient’s insurance company would cover all expenses related to his return home, with assistance of Vietnamese health specialists.

The HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases said it has received VND3.5 billion ($151,000) from the insurance company toward the patient's medical bill.

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