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British BA pilot, 59, struck down with Covid punches air as he leaves hospital

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British BA pilot, 59, struck down with Covid punches air and hugs medics as he’s discharged from US hospital after 243 days of treatment

  • Nicholas Synnott, 59, punched the air after being discharged from hospital
  • The BA pilot was admitted to a Texas hospital in March with coronavirus
  • He is now regaining his strength with wife Nicola, 54, in Betchworth, Surrey

A British Airways pilot who spent a record 243 days in hospital with coronavirus has finally returned home.  

Father-of-two Nicholas Synnott, 59, punched the air after being discharged and heading home to Betchworth, Surrey, shortly before Christmas. 

Mr Synnott was admitted to a Texas hospital in March, and is now regaining his strength with wife Nicola, 54, a school administrator who spent every day at her husband’s bedside. 

He had suffered respiratory failure, was treated with a ventilator and then a heart and lung machine before his recovery started, doctors said. 

The pilot said he hopes the husband of TV presenter Kate Garraway, Derek Draper, who was also hospitalised in March, beats his record as the Briton to come home with the longest Covid-19 hospital stay under his belt, The Times reports.  

Father-of-two Nicholas Synnott, 59, punched the air after being discharged and heading home to Betchworth, Surrey, shortly before Christmas

Father-of-two Nicholas Synnott, 59, punched the air after being discharged and heading home to Betchworth, Surrey, shortly before Christmas

Mr Synnott was admitted to a Texas hospital in March, and is now regaining his strength with wife Nicola, 54, a school administrator who spent every day at her husband's bedside

Mr Synnott was admitted to a Texas hospital in March, and is now regaining his strength with wife Nicola, 54, a school administrator who spent every day at her husband’s bedside

He had suffered respiratory failure, was treated with a ventilator and then a heart and lung machine before his recovery started, doctors said

He had suffered respiratory failure, was treated with a ventilator and then a heart and lung machine before his recovery started, doctors said

After leaving UT Health and Memorial Hermann Hospital, Mr Synnott told ABC 30 News: ‘My temperature was spiking over 100 degrees… then I went through sort of a dark phase where psychologically there were issues I had to come to terms with.’ 

He added: ‘It was a tough journey but, we’ve got where we are.’ 

Mr Synnott, father of Rebecca, 24, and George, 21, became ill after a flight to Houston – a city he hopes to visit again and see the zoo he looked at every day from his hospital window. 

Cardiologist Dr Biswajit Kar, who treated Mr Synnott, said: ‘Every organ of his body was affected by Covid-19. But yet, because his health was so good as a pilot prior to the illness, he could sustain all this and survive something as serious as this.’ 

Critical care specialist Dr Bindu Akkanti said the devotion of his wife was crucial to his recovery.  

‘I think all of us on our team agreed that it was his wife,’ she said.

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