A PATIENT has been back to Musgrove Park Hospital to donate a machine similar to one that saved his life.

Paul Wood was seriously ill in an induced coma in the intensive treatment unit for a week after being rushed into hospital on New Year's Eve.

He then spent a further week in Musgrove's high dependency unit as he battled a cocktail of conditions including a perforated bowel, sepsis, septic shock, pneumonia and a collapsed lung.

Mr Wood, of Cotford St Luke, was then moved to Montacute Ward to continue on the road back to health.

He said: "When I couldn’t sleep at night and my mind was working overtime I thought, 'If I really came that close, I want to do something positive to say thank you'.

"I didn’t realise how unwell I was at the time. It almost feels like it happened to someone else."

Part of Mr Wood's recovery involved gruelling and unpleasant physiotherapy sessions with a device called a cough assist, which helps patients clear their lungs.

He said: "Every time I saw Hayley (the physiotherapist) walk in with it I thought, ‘Oh no’, but she did it about five or six times and one day, about ten minutes after she left, I could feel the difference in my lungs.

"From then on, everything was just an improvement. I started to get out and sit in the chair and then to walk up and down the room twice and then gradually a bit more and more.

"So many people helped me here, but some really stand out. The physical side really turned around with Hayley and then there were all the wonderful nurses.

"I knew I wanted to buy a cough assist to help other people, and I wanted to name it Hayley’s Huff ‘n’ Puff, so it’s great to see the plaque on it."

Critical care lead nurse Kath Robinson said: "We are delighted that Mr Wood has made such a good recovery.

"It’s so rewarding for the critical care team to see patients who have returned to their normal lives after they have left our care."

Lead physiotherapist Connie Snell said: "It’s the best part of our job when we see former patients, and it’s lovely that Mr Wood has presented us with Hayley’s Huff ‘n’ Puff to benefit other patients."