A nurse has paid an emotional tribute to colleagues who saved her life after she spent three days on a ventilator battling Covid-19.
Staff at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton cheered and clapped as Millie Magadlela, a nurse of 39 years’ experience, was taken out of intensive care and put on a general ward.
She waved and appeared emotional as colleagues in PPE briefly stopped their vital work to celebrate with her as she was wheeled from the unit.
The first thing the nurse she did after regaining consciousness was call her husband and two sons to tell them she was going to be OK.
She said: “I can’t say in words how it felt to have all of the staff there clapping and showing their support and love.
“These people all saved my life.
“I am here now only because of them.
“I felt so loved and cared for by everyone.
“And that includes all staff across the organisation who treated me.”
Ms Magadlela, who works in the surgical decision unit at the hospital, first started feeling unwell on March 29.
She went back to her Stockton home after finishing a shift feeling tired, lethargic and with a high temperature.
She isolated over the next days with her husband Mongezi Spencer and her symptoms worsened.
She said: “I was so tired and lacking in energy that I couldn’t even wash myself for two days.
“I was hot and cold, with blankets on top of me.
“I felt awful.”
She called 111 and an ambulance took her to the hospital where she works, and following checks she was eventually moved onto intensive care.
She added: “I can’t properly thank all of the staff for what they have done for me.
“In my 39 years as a nurse I have never been in hospital as a patient, I’ve always been fit and healthy.
“I’ve always had a passion and determination to do my best for my patients.
“So to see things from a patient’s view was very different.
“I’m very proud to be a nurse and so proud to work for the NHS.
“The message I want to get to everyone is just how important it is for people to follow the advice and stay at home.”
Once she has recovered she aimed to be back at work.
Stephanie Gale and Tracey Oldfield, clinical co-ordinators in critical care, said: “Staff were overjoyed to see Millie make a recovery and become our first patient to be discharged from the unit after being on a ventilator.
“It has given staff a huge morale boost at such an important time.”