'When Daddy came home I nearly cried': Family reunion for Blackpool dad who beat Covid-19 after a month in ICU

A devoted Blackpool dad who spent a month sedated in Blackpool Vic's ICU on a ventilator with Covid is finally back at home with his fiance and children.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 4:22 pm

Adam Fishwick, 30, a self-employed service engineer from Knowsley Avenue, Blackpool, was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital by ambulance on January 7 when his Covid symptoms became severe.

He spent a month fighting for his life on a ventilator under sedation in ICU while his fiance Hayley Sharples, 28, could do nothing but wait to see if his condition changed.

But last week, the agonising wait was over, and Adam finally took his first steps back into his family home, surprising his two children Olivia, four, and Owen, six.

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Adam Fishwick with fiance Hayley Sharples, and their children Owen and Olivia. Photo: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Owen said when returned home to find his daddy sitting in the living room, he was "surprised, happy, and nearly cried."

Olivia also said she was very happy, and wanted to give him "a big cuddle."

Adam explained more about his fight against Covid, and how grateful he was that he made it through with his life.

"I was led straight from the ambulance to the Covid emergency department, where they started me on a nasal cannula and a mask, I needed oxygen straight away," he said.

"I had a constant stream of doctors and nurses coming in, in full PPE, making sure my sats (oxygen saturation levels) were going up.

"I was there for a few hours, but I was transferred up to ICU where there were three other people, all of them on CPAP machines.

"I remember all of that, and I remember being there a few days. But then they told me they were going to put me to sleep, because they'd used all the machines they could.

"It was really scary. I remember being told to keep talking to them, and then that was it."

Adam was put under sedation on January 12, and spent a month asleep on the intensive care unit, spending long periods of time on his front, as medics fought to save his life.

Hayley had no option but to wait, feeling helpless, as she phoned doctors every morning for updates on his condition.

But on the morning of Sunday February 7, Hayley received the news she had been praying for - that doctors had managed to give Adam a tracheostomy, a procedure that involves creating an opening in the neck in order to place a tube into the windpipe and open up the lungs.

The procedure enabled them to finally wake him up from his sedation.

"At one point in between, Hayley said I'd been woken up and had video called them with a tube in my throat, but I don't remember that," Adam continued.

"The time I spent in there felt like one long, strange dream. It was always fighting dreams. And if I didn't win the fight, the dream would end and another one would begin straight away.

"After I'd woken up, I got more of an idea of what I'd actually been through. The amount of nurses who would come up to me and tell me they'd looked after me and I was a miracle.

"The last time I'd spoken to the kids and Hayley was when I said goodbye to them going into the ambulance, and I thought they'd just give me a bit of oxygen and some antibiotics or something.

"But I could have died and not even known about it, I had no idea that could have been the last time I ever saw them."

Adam is now recovering at home after receiving physiotherapy sessions in hospital, to build his strength up after being on a ward without movement for so long.

He thanked everyone who had donated to a fundraiser set up for Hayley and their children by Hayley's sister, to alleviate the loss of Adam's income.

"I was in there for 50 days," Adam continued.

"The whole time felt like one long dream.

"I'm just so grateful to be back at home now, and I'm feeling stronger every day.

"I have to stop and take a breath when I speak, and when I'm walking my body tells me to stop if I need to, but I'm getting there."