When radio presenter James O’Brien discovered what man recovering from a coronavirus coma wanted to do as soon as he woke up, he was left almost speechless.
Patrick, from Islington, was induced into a coma after contracting covid-19 on March 23 and nearly had his life support turned off three times. When he finally woke seven weeks later, he done something that put a smile on many listeners’ faces.
Patrick told LBC’s O’Brien in a croaky voice that as soon as he became conscious, he proposed to his partner of 26 years, Cynthia.
He said: ‘The biggest thing I want to do is to marry my girlfriend and to show her how much I love her and how much she means to me.’
He said he owed his life to Cynthia, who persuaded doctors not to turn off Patrick’s life support.
O’Brien asked Cynthia whether she had been at Patrick’s bedside when he finally woke up. She was not, due to social distancing restrictions, but said she was Facetimed by ‘wonderful’ hospital staff, and thanked them for checking in on her during the ordeal.
She said: ‘It was confusing for Patrick because they kept saying he was not going to make it, or that he might make it…’
The new romantic admitted that marriage had not been a priority before he fell ill, prompting O’Brien to joke with Cynthia: ‘It takes a seven-week coma for him to put his skates on, doesn’t it?’
She laughed, replying: ‘The first thing he said when he came out of the coma was ‘will you marry me?’. I could hardly hear what he was saying because he had a tube into his lungs so I had to put my ears to the phone to hear.
‘I said ‘Of course I will!’.’
She and Patrick are already undertaking wedding preparations after he returned home on Friday.
‘We’re not wasting a day again,’ Cynthia said, ‘you can’t take things for granted. Life is short, you know.’