Magic NHS and true love helped Johnny beat COVID-19

Johnny MacAllister and his true love Ann who will be married 60 years in October.

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A great-grandad back home after battling COVID-19 says doctors and nurses ‘worked wonders’ to save his life.

Johnny MacAllister, who spent four weeks in Oban hospital’s coronavirus ward, also credited true love for pulling him through.

Despite being so ill at times he wished it was ‘all over’, the 80-year-old from Lynn Court says determination to be well enough to celebrate 60 years of marriage to his childhood sweetheart stopped him from giving in to the draining virus.

Mr MacAllister, who started with an irritating cough and was tested twice before it showed positive, is hoping the pandemic will be over in time for a big family party in October when he and wife Ann mark their diamond wedding anniversary.

The couple, who have 11 great grandchildren, were 13 when ‘the flame was lit’ and they fell in love.

Mr MacAllister, who lost his sight in the 1980s, is longing to be reunited with Ann who has Alzheimer’s and lives at Eader Glinn Care Home.

‘There were times in hospital in the early days when I just wished I would die so it was all over but the nurses and doctors did wonders for me. They were magic, just out of this world.

‘Thinking about Ann also got me through. I’d do this all over again just to be with her, the flame was lit as soon as I saw her all those years ago and we fell in love,’ he said.

But until the crisis clears, Mr MacAllister’s three-times-a-week visits to his wife are on hold. He has been told to keep shielding at his Bield Housing home in case he gets infected again.  For the time being his callers are his NHS helpers, the carers who make his meals and grand-daughter Cheryl Bryers who drops off shopping.

The family have been told that although Mr MacAllister could be immune from the virus now there is no guarantee it could last.

‘Coronavirus took everything out of grandad and very nearly took him from us. We’re lucky he’s home making great progress physically and back up on his feet, but there’s still the emotional trauma that needs repairing, too, when people like him have come so close to death.

‘The amazing NHS continues to look after him well and we will forever be in its debt,’ said Cheryl.