A COUPLE have described the emotional moment of leaving a critical care ward together.

Husband and wife Clarence and Stella Diribe have been treated on the coronavirus ward at the Eastbourne District General Hospital.

They had each spent more than three weeks in critical care.

As they left the hospital they received warm applause from NHS staff gathered as they waved their goodbyes.

The video has been shared online by the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and can be seen on The Argus website.

Their children Obi and Onyi said that Stella has been a nurse herself for many years treating patients. The couple said: “Words cannot express our gratitude. Thank you to everyone at the hospital.”

When leaving the hospital, Mr and Mrs Diribe said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to staff in critical care.

“Words cannot express our gratitude, they were all amazing. They made sure we both stayed connected with each other, as much as was possible and kept us in touch with our sons.

“It was an overwhelming experience to be clapped and cheered by hospital staff, but best of all we got to see our sons. Thank you to everyone at the hospital.”

Stella spent 23 days in critical care and Clarence 16 days. They were cared for apart to start with, then were connected via iPad tablets and later bought together as they recovered.

Their son Obi Diribe said: “We just want to say a massive thank you to all the staff here at the hospital who helped our parents pull through, it’s been a very trying few weeks.

“I don’t think any of us have felt this sort of thing before, we have always known our parents to be fighters but this was just something else so we appreciate the effort from everyone here.

“Mum has been a nurse since before we were born so she said to me she never thought anything could happen to her that would knock her as much as this has, so we are just relieved that she’s pulled through.”

Critical Care Senior Sister, Stacey Sharman said: “Stella and Clarence recovering and leaving Critical Care together was a better outcome than any of us had dared to hope for.

“They both fought the odds, which were definitely stacked against them, and we are all so happy for them and their sons that they have been discharged and are on the road to recovery. We wish them all the best in the future.”

All pictures and video are from East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.