Grandad’s six months of hell after COVID ‘hammer’ hit
Queensland's longest serving COVID-19 patient, 81-year-old Ruby Princess passenger and grandfather Richard Misior, says he's "making remarkable progress" almost half a year after being "hit like a sledgehammer" by the pandemic virus.
Mr Misior is walking with the aid of a support frame and says he's "getting stronger every day".
"I can stand up quite easily … obviously thanks to the hard work of the physiotherapists," he said.
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles made special mention on Friday about Mr Misior's move to a rehabilitation bed at the Gold Coast University Hospital next week, a significant step in the veteran COVID patient's extraordinary pandemic journey.
"He knows better than anyone just how awful this disease can be, how great our hospital services are at saving lives from COVID but also how long it can take to recover," Mr Miles said.
Mr Misior spent 77 days in intensive care after testing positive to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in March, following the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise.
He required a "very long time" on a ventilator to stay alive, one of hundreds of Ruby Princess passengers infected with the virus. Twenty-eight fellow passengers were not as fortunate, losing their lives after developing COVID-19.
Mr Misior and his wife Helen, 85, both contracted the virus, but her symptoms were much milder. They will move into a nursing home together once he is finally discharged from hospital.
After leaving intensive care in June, Mr Misior said that while some people called him the "miracle man", the real miracle workers were the doctors and nurses looking after him.
Almost 800 Australians have lost their lives to the virus since late January, including six Queenslanders.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said research out of the University of Glasgow had shown that, on average, people who died from COVID-19, lost 10 years of life.
"That's taking into consideration the age of that person, the sex of that person and any chronic disease that person had," she said.
"That means that there are quite a number of people who are dying much earlier than they would otherwise have been expected to die. This is a very, very serious disease.
"Also, it's not just older people who are dying from this disease."
The youngest Australian to die was aged in his 30s.
Originally published as Grandad's six months of hell after COVID 'hammer' hit