Some birthday presents money can’t buy – for Brett France’s wife Jacqueline her husband’s discharge from hospital after being critically ill with COVID-19 was one such gift.

Brett, a serving Greater Manchester Police officer, finally left hospital on June 4th to rapturous applause from his wife, sons, hospital staff and police colleagues.

Claire Partridge, Matron in Critical Care said: “This is such an emotional time for everyone who has been involved in Brett’s care.

"He has gone through so much over the past months and been so very poorly.

"So to see him leave today is truly special and something we have all wanted to see so much. COVID-19 is a devastating illness that has brought heartache for so many.

"This is why taking time to celebrate and reflect on success stories like Brett’s is so important. It fills us all with hope.”

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Brett was admitted to hospital on April 12th after suffering symptoms of COVID-19.

Four days later he was transferred to the High Dependency Unit, a further four days later he was placed on a ventilator.

Brett was so gravely ill at one stage he had to be transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital to undergo extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy. ECMO is a complex procedure that is used to pump and oxygenate the patient's blood outside the body, replacing the function of the lungs and heart.

After undergoing the ECMO treatment he returned to Bolton on May 13th where he continued his recovery.

On May 18th he came off the ventilator and began to eat and move around leading to his discharge.

Jacqueline and her two son’s Henry and Alex have been overwhelmed by the levels of love and support they and Brett have received.

The Bolton News:

Jacqueline said: “Having Brett come home is just the best birthday present ever. We would just like to say a huge thank you to all the nurses, doctors and support staff who have gone above and beyond in looking after Brett. He was care for so very well in both Bolton and Wythenshawe. He really has had the best treatment and we are so very grateful. Brett’s colleagues have also been wonderful. In fact so many people have been so kind to us, we have had so much love from everyone. It has really helped us get through this.”

The Bolton News: