Lancaster nurse thanks colleagues and reassures patients as he returns to work after recovering from coronavirus

A Registered Nurse who has survived coronavirus has thanked his colleagues for the "excellent care" within the hospitals trust which runs the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Monday, 27th April 2020, 9:28 am
Kirk Panter.

Kirk Panter, 60, who retired from UHMBT in 2019 and now does shifts for the trust, says he was glad that he was tested early on as he is now available to work once more.

Kirk, a former Staff Side Chair of UHMBT, grew up in Manchester and now lives in Lancaster with his wife, Sharon Panter, who is also a Registered Nurse at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Kirk had been concerned about his chances of surviving coronavirus due to his age, weight and certain medical conditions.

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He said: “I was worried because of my age profile and medical issues; I dodged a bullet, given my profile.

“I spiked a temperature on Friday March 21 and after seeking medical advice, I was swabbed. After testing positive I went into self-isolation."

Kirk is now someone that hospital teams can call on when needed. He has done a couple of shifts on the Intensive Care Unit at the RLI since recovering from Covid-19 and being cleared to work.

He said: “I asked to be on ICU because I used to work in theatres so I was accustomed to doing a lot of the clinical observations.

“Doing several hours in full PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] was hard going but I managed it. I was also able to help the team by giving ward areas a deep clean.

“The morale in the team was good. Everyone was kind and helpful. It’s early days though so people need to pace themselves.”

Kirk said he had never experienced anything like coronavirus but he remains positive.

He added: “I’m just taking it as it comes and not getting too worried. That’s just my attitude to life.

“I like a bit of dark humour. When they asked if I had time to work I said: “My diary is a bit empty at the moment!”

“We are all trying to do our best for patients in whatever way we can. People need to think carefully about where their skills can best be used. Most of us are worried at the moment but, for me, going back to work is the right thing to do.”

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