Praise for 'amazing' NHS staff after Dagenham woman beats Covid

Cathy louis in hospital

Cathy Louis from Dagenham caught Covid-19 in the autumn. She went through two medically induced comas and survived a heart attack. - Credit: Kelly Browne

A woman has paid tribute to the NHS staff who nursed her mum back from two comas and a heart attack after she contracted Covid.

Cathy Louis, from Dagenham, was diagnosed with the virus, pneumonia and blood clots on her lungs after she was admitted to Queen's Hospital on November 10, last year.

The 58-year-old grandmother, who is asthmatic and already had bronchitis, was moved to intensive care and put in a coma 15 days after her arrival.


Cathy was diagnosed with Covid-19 in November. - Credit: Kelly Browne

"That moment I felt like it was over," Cathy's daughter Kelly Browne said. "The family was broken. I never prayed so hard in my life."

Kelly, 36, visited her mum in hospital, telling her the family loved and needed her. The mum of three rang daily, urging staff to hold Cathy's hand.

Things went from bad to worse when Cathy had a heart attack on December 3. Three days later, the family was told to come to Queen's to say their last goodbyes.

But Cathy rallied and, while still in a coma was moved to Homerton Hospital, to free up her bed at Queen's which was grappling with a surge in cases.

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Three days before Christmas Day, medics brought Cathy out of the coma. Unable to speak, she mouthed the words: "What's happened? Where am I?"

Kelly said: "She was scared and couldn't believe what had happened. She was told she had a heart attack and nearly died. She kept saying she was sorry."

However, three days into the new year, Cathy was put back into a coma for a few hours after her condition deteriorated.

cathy and family

Cathy with grandsons Edward and (back row, left to right) Kane, 18, son Stephen, 34 and grandson Joshua, 15. Kelly (front right) praised NHS staff for saving her mum's life. - Credit: Kelly Browne

But the fighter, who is affectionately known as 'Nanny Fruitcake' by her grandchildren, rallied a second time and, on January 8, Kelly received a special call from Cathy's hospital bed.

"The doctor turned the phone to my mum and she said, 'Hello Kelly'. I hadn't heard her voice since November 24. It was just amazing. I cried. I said, 'You're so brave. Well done'. 

"It was just a beautiful moment."

Nurses clapped Cathy when she was finally moved out of intensive care on January 20. By February 1, she was starting to take her first tentative steps on her own two feet.

cathy and stephen

Cathy is a full time carer for her son, Stephen. - Credit: Kelly Browne

Kelly is hoping Cathy will return home this month, though she will still need therapies to help with speech and mobility.


Cathy is learning to walk again with the help of NHS staff. - Credit: Kelly Browne

On the NHS staff who cared for Cathy, Kelly said: "I love them from the tips of my toes to the bottom of my heart.

"If it weren't for them, mum would not be here. They're amazing. I love them for loving my mum."

cathy and kelly

Cathy and Kelly. - Credit: Kelly Browne

A JustGiving page set up to raise money for staff and help the family remodel Cathy's home received £800 in donations to date.