Patient cheered off Covid ward after beating virus dies two months later

A 47-year-old patient who was cheered out of intensive care after fighting coronavirus for 60 days has died from 'long Covid'.

Roehl Ribaya arrived at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on May 29 and spent two months in the intensive care unit with 48 days spent on a ventilator.

Medical staff cheered as he left the hospital in July as he was their last Covid-19 patient from the first wave of the pandemic.

The father-of-one said at the time: "I was sure I was going to die. How can you thank people who saved your life?"

The aerospace engineer died last Thursday, and his widow, nurse Stella Ricio-Ribaya, revealed he 'never recovered', from the long term effects of coronavirus.

She fears he could be one of many 'long Covid' tragedies.

His family, now shattered, said he 'never recovered' from the symptoms and effects of the virus.

Mrs Ricio-Ribaya performed CPR n her husband after he suffered a cardiac arrest on Tuesday.

He then slipped into a two-day coma and later died.

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She said: "He was never the same. He was so breathless all the time.

"Please follow the government's advice so we can stop this virus. He was taken too soon. We don't want any more to die."

Mark Delebajan, close friend, said the family were 'devastated'.

He said the father's cause of death was a cardiac arrest with the secondary cause noted as post-Covid pulmonary fibrosis.

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He added: "It was long Covid. His breathing was never the same and he couldn't get up the stairs.

"He was rushed back into hospital a number of times."

He said his friend was the 'life and soul of the party' who was always 'joking around'.

He added that the staff in Blackpool Victoria Hospital were 'very fond of him'.

Kevin McGee, chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the staff were devastated of the news of Mr Ribaya's death.

He added: "We were extremely saddened to hear about the death of Roehl and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time."

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