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Vietnam’s Covid-19 miracle basks in the sun

By Le Cam   June 11, 2020 | 05:10 am PT
Vietnam’s most critically ill Covid-19 patient, comatose for months, was taken in a wheelchair to the balcony to sunbathe.

"Patient 91," the 43-year-old British pilot currently under treatment at Ho Chi Minh City’s Cho Ray Hospital, is also free of his lung infection, said a hospital representative. He has been learning to get off his ventilators intermittently over the last two days, with gradually increasing duration.

He has no fever and is fully conscious. He has remembered the passwords to his phone and iPad. Mobility is gradually returning to his upper limbs, allowing him to pick up a pen, write on a board and use the phone. Strength is also returning to his lower limbs.

Patient 91 sits on the wheelchair to sunbathe in the morning in the Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC, June 2020. Photo courtesy of the hospital.

"Patient 91" sits on the wheelchair to sunbathe in the morning in HCMC's Cho Ray Hospital, June 2020. Photo courtesy of the hospital.

"The patient can now sit on the wheelchair with assistance from medical workers to sunbathe in the morning," the source said.

In the coming days, doctors plan to wean him off antibiotics, continue helping him gain increasing independence from ventilators, provide physical therapy and prevent new infections. They are also considering removing his tracheotomy tube once he can get off his ventilators completely so that he can speak again.

"With the patient’s current recovery, the time needed to completely get off ventilators could be shorter than indicated by earlier prognosis," the hospital representative added.

First confirmed infected on March 18, the British man has been under treatment for almost three months now, most of it in severely critical condition, comatose and kept alive by machines.

His recent recovery rate has astonished doctors. He was able to sit up on his own Monday. He is also capable of intricate movements like pressing phone buttons now.

All 49 other foreigners with Covid-19 in Vietnam have recovered. The country has confirmed 332 Covid-19 cases so far and just 12 of them are active patients now. No deaths have been recorded to date.

Vietnam has gone nearly two months without community transmission of the disease.

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