Dad-of-2 whose fight for life had people in tears has tracheotomy to help him off ventilator after 25 days in virus ICU – The Sun

A DAD-of two whose fight for life with coronavirus left radio listeners in tears is being prepped to breathe on his own with a tracheotomy.

Mal Martin, 58, has spent 25 days in intensive care struck down with the virus, with his wife, Helen, tweeting "#keepgoingmal".

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She wrote yesterday: "Mal has had his tracheotomy today. Otherwise no real improvement and still incredibly weak but hopefully will now be more comfortable and will be on less sedation."

The mum added he wasn't strong enough to attempt fully breathing on his own yet, but that doctors hoped having a tracheotomy would give him more time to recover.

She thanked everyone for their support, and the medics in the ICU taking care of Mal.

Earlier this week we told how Mal's heartbroken teenage daughter said she would give anything to hear her dad's voice again as he fights for his life.

Hana Martin, 16, said her final goodbyes to dad him after being told he "had no chance of surviving" the deadly bug.

Sue, 49, had radio listeners in tears when she revealed the family were given just ten minutes to say their final goodbyes when they visited him in hospital.

Since then, Hana gave a brave interview recalling the hospital visit and warning of the dangers of the virus, saying: "The state that he was in, it was just horrible to see my dad like this.

"He was swollen, his hands swollen, you could see his arteries, his veins."

Hana told BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat: "At this point I will take anything to just hear his voice or see him again."

Speaking of her final conversation with her dad on FaceTime, just hours before he was put on a ventilator, she added: "He said he'd make it through as it wasn't his time.

"It was at that point calling him and then realising this could be the last time we ever speak to him."

But as Mal fights for his life, his daughter is determined he will survive.

The teen said: "It is the first time I've believed he can make it through."

Mal, who has diabetes, went to hospital on March 29 after spending a week at home ill with the virus.

He was told on arrival that would have go straight to intensive care to be ventilated and Sue, Hana and her brother William, 13, were able to FaceTime him before he was put in a coma.

A week later, doctors told Mal’s devastated family that despite him being “very healthy” he had "zero chance" of pulling through.

He is still not out of the woods and there are no guarantees for the long process ahead, but the fact he’s still with us given the odds is incredible.

Sue and the kids rushed to hospital to say their goodbyes after Mal's condition rapidly declined.

Sue broke listeners' hearts on BBC Radio 4's Today show as she revealed how they had to kit up in protective gear and were given 10 minutes to say a heartbreaking final goodbye.

Against all odds, the family were given hope last week when they were told Mal would be taken off his ventilator.

Speaking last week, Sue from Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan, said: “Incredibly, nine days after being told that Mal has almost zero chance of survival, and myself and the children going to say our goodbyes, Mal is still with us.

"It’s now day 17 on the ventilator and the hospital have said that he is moving into the weaning phase.

"Weaning from the ventilator and rehabilitation is going to be an extremely long, slow and painful process, and there are no guarantees that it will be successful, but we are prepared for whatever it brings."

Mal became unwell with symptoms of coronavirus on 19 March and after 10 days he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Sue said: "He is still not out of the woods and there are no guarantees for the long process ahead, but the fact he’s still with us given the odds is incredible."

Mal, chairman for a recruitment firm, and Sue, communications manager at department for transport, got married in September 1996.

She said she was "so, so grateful" to the ICU team and had been "overwhelmed" with thousands of messages from people around the world.

She added: "It doesn’t matter how long it takes, we just want him home with us."

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