The first Covid-19 positive patient at a Kent hospital was treated to a huge round of applause from staff as he walked out on Thursday.
Uber driver Biniam Kidane waved and gave the thumbs up to the smiling NHS workers who lined the corridors in celebration.
The team at Darent Valley Hospital are wishing the 43-year-old father a speedy continued recovery on the outside.
Mr Kidane had been on a romantic trip to Venice with his wife to celebrate Valentine’s Day back in February.
Our first Covid-19 positive patient left our ITU on the 7th April and today he walked out of the hospital off home to a huge round of applaud from our staff.
— Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust (@DarentValleyHsp) April 9, 2020
But after he returned home to the UK he became unwell and was admitted to hospital in Dartford, Kent on March 22.
The Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust said he was their first patient to test positive for coronavirus.
His condition worsened and he was taken into the intensive treatment unit (ITU), where he spent 12 days on a ventilator, the Trust added.
But with the help of the highly-trained NHS staff, Mr Kidane was able to recover enough to be discharged from the critical unit and into a ward, where he continued to improve.
His wife was so thrilled he was able to leave intensive care on Tuesday that she bought pizza for everyone in the ITU.
After making huge progress, Mr Kidane was finally able to leave hospital after nearly three weeks, and was treated to a guard of honour.
He walked out into the world wearing a mask and supported by a cane, waving to staff clapping in their scrubs and face masks.
Louise Ashley, chief executive of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Mr Kidane is now able to return home to his family having recovered from coronavirus.
“I would like to thank our teams here who provide such highly skilled, compassionate care and it is very encouraging that Mr Kidane has responded so well to treatment. We look forward to enabling more patients to return home, safely and well.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank not only our staff but also our local community for all the support and help they have so kindly given – it is very much appreciated.”