City worker loses five stone in five weeks as he battles Covid-19

City worker loses five stone in five weeks as he battles Covid-19

EXCLUSIVE – ‘I didn’t recognise myself’: City IT worker loses five stone in five weeks as he successfully battles Covid-19 in intensive care after being given only 20 per cent chance of survival

  • Kim Wai Li, from Welling, spent five week in hospital battling coronavirus
  • The father-of-two dropped from 15 stone to 10 during his time in hospital 
  • He was placed in an induced coma and his family feared for the worst 
  • Kim was given 20 per cent chance of survival but is now home with his family 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A City IT worker lost five stone in five weeks while he battled coronavirus in intensive care on a ventilator, MailOnline can reveal.

Software developer Kim Wai Li lost four inches from his waistline and dropped from 15 to ten stone during his life-saving treatment.

The father-of-two young boys was given just 20 per cent chance of survival after he became unable to breathe days after contracting Covid-19.

Now Kim, from Welling, south-east London, believes he has been given a second chance and revealed his shock at his weight-loss.

‘I didn’t recognise myself in the mirror when I saw how much weight I’d lost,’ he told MailOnline.

Kim Wai Li, a City IT worker lost five stone in five weeks while he battled coronavirus in intensive care on a ventilator, MailOnline can reveal

 The software developer from Welling, south east London, lost four inches from his waistline and dropped from 15 to ten stone during his life-saving treatment

The father-of-two was given just 20 per cent chance of survival after he became unable to breathe days after contracting Covid-19. Now Kim hopes to lead a healthier lifestyle and has revealed his shock at his weight-loss

‘It’s been one hell of a journey. Physically it was like a slap in the face and I’m determined to keep my weight where it is. It’s a second lease of life.

‘I was on pills for my blood pressure when I went in and it’s now within normal limits.’ 

Although the family have Chinese heritage, Kim and his wife Ceri were both born in Britain and had not travelled to China, where the virus outbreak began at the end of last year. 

Kim first became ill on March 12 and believes he became infected on the packed commuter train he takes every day to his work in the City of London.

At first he tried to tackle the symptoms at home but was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, south-east London, on March 17 when he struggled to breath.

At 5ft 6ins, Kim was declared clinically obese on being admitted and an x-ray revealed he had a chest infection.

He was sent home with a course of antibiotics but three days later his condition deteriorated and he was rushed back to hospital by ambulance.

His mother-in-law, Ying Lau, who was also admitted hospital with breathing problems, was tested for coronavirus and her results came back positive.

Kim first became ill on March 12 and believes he became infected on the packed commuter train he takes every day to his work in the City of London

At first he tried to tackle the symptoms at home but was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, south-east London, on March 17 when he struggled to breath

At 5ft 6ins, Kim was declared clinically obese on being admitted and an x-ray revealed he had a chest infection. He was sent home with a course of antibiotics but three days later his condition deteriorated and he was rushed back to hospital by ambulance

Ceri, 38, (pictured with Kim before he fell ill) said: ‘I had never seen him so unwell before. It just got worse and worse and he looked weaker by the day. He was struggling with breathing and really coughing’

After an initial test proved negative, a second test confirmed he had Covid-19.

Describing his symptoms Kim said: ‘I was chesty and out of breath. It was harder than usual to breathe. I also had nosebleeds constantly.’

Ceri, 38, added: ‘I had never seen him so unwell before. When he has a cough or a cold he normally recovers after a few days but he was not getting better.

‘It just got worse and worse and he looked weaker by the day. He was struggling with breathing and really coughing.

‘He looked so unwell. He told me he needed help. We suspected coronavirus because my mum had it and we’d all been in close contact.

‘For some reason only he and my mum picked it up. Me and the boys were fine.’

While his mother-in-law responded well to oxygen treatment and spent just weeks in hospital, Kim’s condition deteriorated.

He was treated first with a nasal oxygen tube, then an oxygen mask but after five days he was moved to intensive care, put into an induced coma and put on a ventilator as doctors tried to get more oxygen into him.

His family feared the worse, while his young sons Jake, three and Jackson, 19-months, were not allowed to visit him.

When Kim failed to respond to the treatment, doctors believed his only chance of survival was a special machine at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London where Boris Johnson had been treated. 

He was treated first with a nasal oxygen tube, then an oxygen mask but after five days he was moved to intensive care, put into an induced coma and put on a ventilator as doctors tried to get more oxygen into him

His family feared the worse, while his young sons Jake, three and Jackson, 19-months, (above) were not allowed to visit him

He was told he would been to be put on a specialist ECMO machine which pumps oxygen into the patient’s blood via an artificial lung.

But as medics prepared him for the blue-light ambulance journey, Kim began to respond to the oxygen treatment and he was left in intensive care at Woolwich.

He finally woke up on April 9, almost four weeks after he was first admitted to hospital.

But during his illness he had suffered kidney damage and he was sent to another hospital, Kings College Hospital, in south London, for dialysis before being finally discharged on April 22. 

He remembers having vivid dreams, hallucinating and desperately wanting chocolate ice-cream.

He said: ‘I went into hospital on a Friday and the following week must have been really bad because I don’t remember that at all.

‘I remember getting a delivery of food, telling the wife I was really struggling and that’s it.

‘The next thing I remember was waking up in Kings [College Hospital]. I knew my name and date of birth but I didn’t know what day it was or where the hell I was.

‘The doctor said I had been in a coma.’

When he came around, Kim was so weak he could barely hold a phone and was shocked when he looked in the mirror and saw how he had shrunk.

He finally woke up on April 9, almost four weeks after he was first admitted to hospital. But during his illness he had suffered kidney damage and he was sent to another hospital, Kings College Hospital, in south London, for dialysis before being finally discharged on April 22

He weighed himself and discovered he had lost five stone – one stone for each week he suffered from the virus. 

All his clothes are now too big for him, having gone from size 40in waist to size 36in.

Ceri told MailOnline: ‘When I opened the door I didn’t recognise him. His face was a lot slimmer. I was really shocked.

‘He couldn’t walk, he’s wasted away but he’s got a second chance. He was nearly 15 stone and about 5ft 5 or 6 so he was obese.’ 

Kim thanked doctors and nurses for saving his life and revealed how he broke down in tears when he saw his family.

‘Seeing the family, the kids and my wife again, there was a huge sense of relief,’ he said. ‘I don’t do it often but I will admit I suddenly started crying.

‘Throughout the dreams when I was sedated there was always one theme – to get home. I wanted to see my family, even if it was for the last time.’ 

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