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Derry man whose family said it would take a 'miracle' for him to survive Covid-19 is on the road to recovery

Neil McCafferty is being discharged from Altnagelvin's intensive care unit

'Please take Covid-19 seriously'

Neil McCafferty contracted Covid-19 after being admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital with a gall bladder infection.

The family of a Derry man who contracted Covid-19 at Altnagelvin Hospital after being admitted for a gall bladder infection received a huge boost today as his recovery continues.

Neil McCafferty was admitted to the local hospital last month.

After contracting Covid-19, the 67-year-old's condition deteriorated rapidly and his family said it would take a 'miracle' for him to survive.

However, Neil's family, his wife Bridie and five children, were told today that he is being discharged from the intensive care unit to a ward where he will continue his recovery.

He has also got the all-clear from Covid and has come off all required support.

Neil's son, Michael, said they were told at one stage that he was critically ill and was not likely to pull through.

"Since that our dad has progressed positively and responded to the tremendous support he received from the amazing staff in ICU," he said.

"We as a family would like to express our sincere thanks to the overwhelming support, we have received from my mum and dad's family friends and from the amazing people of Derry and beyond.

"We have overcome many ups and downs over the past six weeks in terms of the impact that Covid has had on our family.

"We would also like to express our condolences for the families who have lost loved ones during this very difficult time and offer our prayers and support for those families with loved ones currently battling this terrible illness.

"We hope that our dad's situation may offer hope to those who are currently suffering the impact of this terrible virus."

Michael described the staff who have cared for his father as 'amazing'.

"We thank you for the personal care and encouragement you displayed to him and us as a family over the past number of weeks.

"These medical staff are worth more than their weight in gold and should be commended for their bravery and respect shown to the patients and their families during this difficult time."

He said they had received a huge amount of support in recent weeks.

"We would also like to thank everyone who sent messages from all over the world with well wishes for our dad who made many friends during his work life in England, China, Bangladesh and America.

"To the people who did not even know him and prayed for his well being we thank you as well.

"We have been overwhelmed by the people of Derry who again I will say are the most amazing people on this planet.

"Finally, a very special thanks to Sr Clare Crockett who we feel has been a source of support spiritually through this difficult time."

Michael added: "Our dad has a long way to go with rehabilitation, but we seem to have time on our hands now and with the tremendous support from medical staff we hope that his recover maybe swift."

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