The UK’s longest-suffering Covid patient has been released from hospital after more than two hundred days – just in time to celebrate Christmas.
Ali Sakallioglu, from Catford in South London, spent 222 days in hospital after contracting Covid-19, and was so ill his family had prepared to say goodbye.
At one point, doctors were preparing to switch off life support to the 57-year-old but were convinced not to by his distressed family.
Mr Sakallioglu’s loved ones failed to give up and begged medics not to turn off machines.
They requested that doctors turn him on his stomach in a last-ditch effort to keep him alive.
After being released from hospital last month, the grandfather has expressed his gratitude at being able to celebrate another Christmas.
He told the Sunday Mirror he said: “I was given zero chance of survival, so it feels like a miracle to be able to celebrate Christmas.
“On three different occasions they phoned my daughter and told her to get everyone down because I wasn’t going to make it.
“I can’t wait for Christmas – I have to be careful as I want to be here next Christmas.”
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The father-of-five spent months hooked up to machines and receiving round-the-clock care and his kids– Ali, 38, Seniz, 36, Ayse, 34, Jay, 32, and Yasemin, 31 – at one point were made to say goodbye in full PPE.
Jay said: “Hope was all we had and we knew he wasn’t giving up. It’s incredible to have him here for Christmas. It’s the best present we could have asked for.”
Mr Sakallioglu now plans to spend Christmas Day with his son, Jay, who lives with him in his family home.
The Covid-survivor has now urged the public to get the vaccine and says he can’t wait to get back to work as a cabbie once he has been vaccinated himself.
Hopes have raised that a second vaccine will be approved in the UK in the coming week, following the successful approval of the Pfizer vaccine that began being distributed this month.
The Oxford–AstraZeneca jab – devised and manufactured in the UK – is expected to be approved and begin being administered.
The vaccine was already found to be over 90% effective in protecting against the deadly Covid-19 virus, and is cheaper to buy and easier to store than the current vaccine that is being used to protect the most vulnerable in the UK.
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