Welcome home! Great-grandparents George and Domneva return home after winning coronavirus battle

PUBLISHED: 18:05 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:03 28 May 2020

George Gilbert, 86, and his wife Domneva, 84, from Ely managed to win their battle with coronavirus despite having underlying health conditions. Picture taken in February 2020. Image: Supplied

George Gilbert, 86, and his wife Domneva, 84, from Ely managed to win their battle with coronavirus despite having underlying health conditions. Picture taken in February 2020. Image: Supplied

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An Ely couple married for 64 years are back home tonight after they both spent over a fortnight in Addenbrooke’s Hospital with coronavirus.

Domneva, 84, and George Gilbert, 86, from Ely were both in Addenbrookes Hospital for over a fortnight. Image: SuppliedDomneva, 84, and George Gilbert, 86, from Ely were both in Addenbrookes Hospital for over a fortnight. Image: Supplied

Great-grandparents George Gilbert, 86, and his wife Domneva, 84, managed to get through the illness despite both having underlying health conditions.

Their granddaughter Leanne Bishop said: “It feels amazing to have them both home - we love them so much.”

During his stay, Mr Gilbert agreed to be involved in a medical trial to find out whether two drugs that currently exist on the market help patients with their recovery.

For the majority of people with COVID-19, the infection causes only mild symptoms including a fever and a cough.

George and Domneva Gilbert on their wedding day 64 years ago. The couple are now back home after being treated in hospital with coronavirus. Image: SuppliedGeorge and Domneva Gilbert on their wedding day 64 years ago. The couple are now back home after being treated in hospital with coronavirus. Image: Supplied

But around 15pc of patients develop severe disease - including serious damage to the lungs and multiple organ failure - which appears to be caused by the body’s immune system overreacting and also attacking healthy cells.

Mr Gilbert doesn’t know if the medication - known as Ravulizumab and Baricitinib - helped his own recovery.

“They just hope he’s helped others with this trial,” Leanne added. “We’re very proud.”

Back at their home in High Barns, Mr Gilbert said he was most looking forward to a comfortable bed with no alarms going off at night whereas Mrs Gilbert was simply pleased to be home.

Diabetes is among the health conditions Mr Gilbert lives with. Mrs Gilbert suffers with asthma and other lung conditions.

They were both placed on dedicated COVID wards at the hospital and Mrs Gilbert had to be given oxygen on occasions.

Leanne said: “Our grandparents mean the world to us and we want people to know that the elderly can fight coronavirus.

“When we heard the diagnosis, we automatically thought it’d be the worst outcome.

“But thankfully, for us, that wasn’t the case and as a family we’re very relieved.”

She added: “Even for someone who underlying health conditions, there’s hope.”

Mr and Mrs Gilbert’s family were able to keep in touch and send messages and photographs regularly through the hospital’s Patient Advice and Liason Service.

“We can’t wait for the day when we can give them both a proper hug,” Leanne said.

Images supplied were taken before the government’s coronavirus social distancing measures were introduced.


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