The gym fanatic suffered constant nightmares while sticking to living on a Covid-19 fan for six weeks.
Wayne Oldham’s lungs were attacked by a killer bug, while the 46-year-old’s wife was planning his funeral as doctors hooked him up to a machine that takes over heart and lung function.
The super-capable man was hit in the last life by hooking up to an ECMO machine because his wife was “convinced she would lose him,” Liverpool Echo reports.
But the dad of two children defied all odds and came out of the hospital after 11 weeks fighting for his life, receiving a rapturous, emotional welcome on Monday night.
As friends and neighbors cheered Wayne out of their door, Liverpool told Echou that the past three months have been “the craziest time of my life”.
“They said they would fire me the next day, but the nurse said my temperature was high and they would measure my temperature again.
“I went to sleep and didn’t wake up for six weeks. But the whole time I was on the fan I had constant nightmares.
“I dreamed that they kidnapped me and locked me in the trunk of a car, they threw me out of the building.
“It seemed to me that this was my life forever, the dreams were endless.
“My family me FaceTiming while I was in a coma, they thought I was lying there quietly, but I was locked in this constant nightmare.”
Wayne of Aintree barely survived Covid-19, and his wife says she was so confident he was going to die that she planned his funeral while he held on to life.
Wayne spent a total of 11 weeks in hospital after the virus attacked his lungs, and described experiencing “constant nightmares” while in a medically induced coma on a ventilator.
Wayne, who was a healthy and healthy fanatic at the gym with no underlying health problems, was such a rare case that doctors linked the last cube to an ECMO device.
He was first admitted to Aintree Hospital, where his wife Louise works as a nurse, on October 5 – initially because he feared he had accidentally overdosed on paracetamol while burning in a fever.
But despite being told he would be fired a few days later, the last thing Wayne remembers is that his temperature was a little high.
Louise, who married Wayne’s “perfect husband” 19 years ago, recalled how the hospital called her at 4 a.m. saying his oxygen level had dropped and he had to go to the ventilator.
She said, “As soon as I heard the word fan, I thought“ this is it. ”I called in the morning and talked to the nurse who was charming and soothing.
“She said ‘I’ll take care of him like he’s my own’ and that really helped.”
The son of husband Harvey, 19, has returned from the University of Salford to look after his mother and 15-year-old sister Freya, and the family has been eagerly awaiting the news.
But things got worse and Wayne was transferred to the Royal Liverpool Hospital while he was hooked up to a ventilator.
The medics there tried a technique called “proning”, when the patient is moved to the front to try to improve the flow of air into the lungs.
Louise said: “They told me he was critical, seriously ill. The doctors said they were left with no ideas.
“But one said they could try to transfer him to Wythenshawe Hospital to go on an ECMO machine.”
Wayne joined ECMO on October 13, but the family wait continued.
Louise said, “We managed to confront him with Facetime. He was completely out of it, but we just talked to him hoping he could hear us.
“He’s a musician so we played his songs to him in the hopes that we could encourage him.”
But Louise admitted in the darker moments that she had begun to prepare for the future without the love of her life.
She said, “I was just sitting there on the couch and I thought I was going to lose him.
“I even started planning his funeral, I was going through which 20 people would be invited because of secret rules.”
But after several attempts on the ECMO machine, Wayne was eventually put back on the fan and it soon became clear that he would be able to breathe on his own.
Wayne’s problems didn’t last long, as the machine caused nerve damage, making him temporarily paralyzed.
He was transferred to the Walton Center for rehab and then back to Aintree, where he struggled to regain the ability to walk.
He said that despite trying to come to terms with the devastating experience he went through, Wayne used his years of fitness training to fight pain and fatigue.
He said: “It was just a positive thought to get well and go home to the family to make sure they were well.
“I was on a mission to go out before Christmas.”
Wayne, who plays in a band called Heart and Soul, feared his numb fingers would mean he would no longer be able to play guitar – but now he has managed to pick it up again.
Wayne said, “When Louise told me how close I was to death, it was the worst feeling ever. It was easy to come to terms with it.
“It’s hard to understand.”
Although he lost three stones and struggled with chronic fatigue, Wayne says his primary goal is to “crack” and return to health.
Louise said the support of her friends and neighbors was invaluable.
She said: “My cousin Sue found us bracelets from the Wayne team that my kids and I made worse every day, and her husband Paul even drove us to Wythenshawe Hospital so Wayne could get his own as well.
“It was a way to connect with Wayne and they placed him next to his head.
“The staff was amazing, they always asked me how I and the kids were when I called them, my whole family supported us as well as friends, and our jobs were amazing.”