NHS nurse placed on ventilator after contracting coronavirus returns to work at same hospital that saved her life

Millie Magadlela spent two weeks in intensive care

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Monday 10 August 2020 11:11
NHS nurse put on a ventilator due to Covid-19 returns to work at the same hospital which saved her life

An NHS nurse who had to be put on a ventilator after contracting coronavirus has returned to work at the same hospital that saved her life.

In March, Millie Magadlela was placed in the critical care unit of the University Hospital of North Tees where she works after testing positive for the virus.

The 59-year-old spent around two weeks fighting for her life on the ICU before being discharged in an emotional moment which was caught on camera.

After continuing her recovery at home, the mother-of-two has finally returned to work at the hospital.

“I'm thrilled to be back after four long months at home recovering,” Magadlela said.

“Although a bit apprehensive about how my first day back would be, I can say it’s been lovely to get back into a routine and I’ve loved seeing all my colleagues and friends.”

The nurse added that she received a “warm welcome” from her colleagues on the ward.

“They were all so happy to see me back, saying ‘you look amazing’ and ‘you look great',” she explained.

“That made my day and my anxiety started to ease and I became more relaxed.”

Magadlela, who works in the surgical decision unit at the Stockton-on-Tees hospital, started feeling unwell on 29 March after returning home following a shift.


Over the next few days she developed more coronavirus symptoms and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she was treated by her colleagues.

The nurse of 39 years was placed on a ventilator for three days before being transferred to the intensive care unit for more than two weeks.

In mid-April, Magadlela was considered well enough to leave hospital and a video shows her being wheeled out of the unit to a round of applause from the doctors and nurses who treated her.


A short time later she was allowed to return home and continue her recovery, before returning to work last week.

“To be back at work has given me a huge boost for my mental, physical and emotional health,” Magadlela said.

“I was a bit tired when I got home at the end of the shift and I’d already been informed by our occupational health team that I would feel a little more tired due to post COVID-19 fatigue.”

The nurse added that she was grateful to everyone who supported her during the illness.

“The medical staff who cared for me, my friends, family and colleagues who stood by me and for the hundreds of lovely comments on social media from people I haven’t met but all wished me well,” she said.

Deepak Dwarakanath, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s medical director, said: “Welcome back Millie.

“We’re thrilled Millie has recovered and is now back with us, doing the job she has some 40 years’ experience in.

“Millie is a highly valued and skilled nurse and I know the whole Trust joins me in welcoming her back ‘home’.”

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