Celebrations as Co Antrim businessman leaves hospital after surviving virus

A Co Antrim businessman who survived coronavirus has paid tribute to hospital staff for saving his life.

There were celebrations at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, on Friday as Geoffrey McKillop was discharged.

Staff clapped as he was wheeled out of the doors to cheers from his family waiting outside.

Mr McKillop, 56, was put on a ventilator in the intensive care unit, and at one stage had been given just hours to live.

However, the eateries owner from Bushmills in Co Antrim managed to battle the virus to the relief of his family, and is now looking forward to the day he will be able to meet his first grandson, who was born while he was in intensive care.

The doctors and nurses who cared for him gathered around the car to wave him off as he left to return home.

He told the PA news agency that he was looking forward to meeting his first grandson in the future when he has fully recovered.

He paid tribute to the hospital staff for saving his life, adding: “We shouldn’t lose sight of that, these people saved me.

“It’ll be nice to be home.”

Mr McKillop was admitted to hospital on April 5 after suffering symptoms at home for 10 days.

He was quickly put on to a ventilator, which he remained on for more than two weeks to April 25.

Staff at the hospital lined the corridors applauding when he was wheeled out of the intensive care unit.

Since then, he has been recovering and slowly regaining his strength again.

Mr McKillop is well-known in his native Bushmills where he owns the Hip Chip and the Codsway restaurants, as well as his previous badminton career which saw him play for Ulster and Ireland.

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