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A man who beat the coronavirus was able to walk out of hospital after spending a record 65 days on a ventilator.
In a clip uploaded by Northampton General Hospital, John Betts, 59, was applauded by nursing staff after he was finally able to leave following his battle with coronavirus.
The dad told The Sun: "I'm blessed to have come through this battle."
John, who was placed in an induced coma,spent the longest known period on a ventilator by any Brit who has contracted the coronavirus. According to the newspaper, he 'repeatedly came close to death' with his family being given the heartbreaking news he might not survive the night on four separate occasions.
However, he finally left hospital earlier this month, having been admitted back in March.
Now he's offered a message of hope to those still living with the virus, telling The Sun: "To anybody living through this horrific disease, stay strong. I'm blessed to have come through this battle and be back at home with my family.
"I've still got a long way to go and I know that rehabilitation could take up to six months but I have wonderful support around me.
"I am forever grateful to the staff and doctors at Northampton General."
John was taken to hospital on 26 March and was put into intensive care after testing positive for covid-19. He was sedated and placed on a ventilator.
His daughter Lauren Bedford, 23, and her husband Cameron, 25, were given the devastating news that they should prepare for the worst four times.
Cameron told The Sun: "It has been an emotional roller coaster. Initially when he went in they said they needed to run some tests, but hoped to get him in and out within two weeks."
Lauren went to the hospital the last time doctors warned her he might die, as Cameron explained: "Lauren went in to say, 'Keep fighting.' He wasn't awake at that point but sometimes a family member's voice can help. He woke up two days later on April 16."
John was eventually taken off the ventilator on 1 June.
As a result of the illness, John has lost 13kg (two stone) and can only walk 20 yards at a time.
The couple are now helping John with his recovery and say doctors reckon he will be back to full health by March next year.
Dr Sonia Swart, chief executive of Northampton General Hospital told the paper: "Everyone in the hospital wishes John the very best as he leaves us to continue his recovery with his family.
"I want to pay tribute to all our staff for the care, compassion and dedication they have shown to John, and continue to show to each and every one of our patients."
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