Turkish cabbie in London defeats virus after 222-day battle
A Turkish Cypriot taxi driver has defeated COVID-19 and finally returned home safe and sound as Britain’s longest-suffering COVID-19 patient to have survived.
Ali Sakallıoğlu, 56, spent 222 days in hospital in London and his family were told three times he was going to die.
He had a heart attack, a stroke, collapsed lungs, liver and kidney failure in addition to sepsis and other infections.
But the grandad-of-nine beat the virus and returned home to stirring applause as neighbors lined the streets to welcome him.
He, at higher risk due to type-1 diabetes, fell ill with symptoms including high temperature and loss of taste and smell at the end of March.
The virus left him bed-bound at home and he was told to self-isolate after calling emergency. But his condition deteriorated and he was put on a ventilator after being taken to a hospital.
Four days later, he had a heart attack and was rushed to a nearby hospital for surgery. He was placed in an induced coma and did not come out of it for three months.
Medics told his daughter on three occasions they did not think he was going to survive. The family were given the chance to visit to say their goodbyes, but refused to sign a do-not-resuscitate order.
Sakallıoğlu had a tracheotomy to help him breathe at the end of May and started coming out of the coma on July 1.
After spending 186 days in hospital and 36 in the nursing home, he began doing physiotherapy and was gradually able to walk and talk again.