A SON has told of the moment he went to say goodbye to his father after he was struck down by coronavirus.

Niel Mahoney, 28, was called to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in May to see his dying father Kalvin, 59, one last time.

But, after an induced coma lasting about two months, “warrior” Kalvin has made a miraculous recovery following one of the longest battles at the Brighton hospital.

Son Niel, who lives in Pulborough, said: “We went to say goodbye to him – one of those before death visits.

“Me and my younger brother went down to visit and had to wear a belt with a little battery in the back and full PPE.

“Then to see our father lying there, it was heartbreaking.”

A picture taken on the day shows the moment which the father and son thought would be their last.

Kalvin began experiencing a slight fever at the beginning of April and was rushed to hospital with a suspected stroke after his face began to “droop”.

“He was really careful when he went out,” Niel said.

“He was always washing door handles with bleach and was really aware.”

But Kalvin was confirmed to be covid-positive after a test and became “critical” three days later on April 6.

Niel said: “He picked up, then he went massively downhill.

“They had done a tracheotomy and he was on a ventilator, a catheter and a dialysis machine .”

It was then that a desperate decision was made to put the father into an induced coma.

It is the most severe stage on the Intensive Care Unit spectrum.

Patients are sedated and put into a medically induced coma where they will need to be intubated with a tube inserted into their windpipe.

A ventilator then breathes for them.

Niel said: “Being bed-bound for that long, he had to be turned over every 12 hours and had bed sores on his chain and chest.

“There were two months, which was a very long time, where he was not concious at all – it was just the machine keeping him alive.

“It was terrible, we were all crying.”

Kalvin continued to deteriorate and he began to suffer organ failure. The family were called in to say goodbye on May 28.

When in an induced coma, the body is supported with fluids, oxygen and drugs, which gives the body a chance of fighting off the infection.

Throughout this tumultuous time, Niel said his once-separated family was brought together.

He said: “I had not seen my dad or my dad’s side of the family for a few years, this was just such a big shock.

“We couldn’t visit and his sister, Charmaine has been amazing relaying everything.

“She would ring up the hospital every day for updates – she was the driving force.”

Data in early March from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) gave an indication of survival from critical care.

Of 165 patients treated in critical care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from the end of February to mid March, 79 died, while 86 survived.

However, the average length of stay within ICU is about four or five days.

Kalvin battled the illness for about eight weeks in a critical state before he began to make a miraculous recovery.

Niel said: “There was never a point where it was like ‘hoorah, he’s better’.

“It was almost like every day there were very small improvements to his blood sugars and oxygen levels.

“Some days it was one step forward and two steps back.”

Little by little, Kalvin’s condition improved and he was taken off the ventilator last month.

He was transferred to Haywards Heath from the Royal Sussex – after one of the longest Covid stays – and is now receiving rehabilitation therapy at the Kleinworth Center.

Speaking about his father’s recovery, Niel said: “He has always been tough – he’s old school.

“We were always saying ‘he’s a fighter, he’s going to get through this’.”

The family have come forward with their story to provide support to those who are, or may face, a similar bleak situation.

He said: “I watch the news every day and you see that 47 or whatever people have died.

“Those are 47 families out there who are feeling what we could have gone through.

In a message to his father, Niel said: “We all love you and we are proud of what you have been through.

“We can’t wait to spend our future with you.”