A DEVOTED couple married for nearly 50 years who were both struck down by Covid-19 are now back at home together after a gruelling fight with the deadly virus. 

Mary Blessington, 67, and her husband of 47 years, Michael, 68, were rushed to the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) at the same time back in April. 
The couple, from Clayton, have been inseparable since they met at school when they were 13.

Mary coming home from hospital

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The hospital stay meant the devoted pair were separated, but their son Craig, 48, said the “turning point” came when they were placed side by side on the same ward.

Michael was able to go home first and Mary followed a few days later, but in a heart-wrenching turn, had be re-admitted and her condition worsened.

It was thought she might only have hours to live so Michael and the couple's two surviving sons went to the hospital to say their goodbyes.

Michael said: "What can you say? It's soul destroying. I didn't know what to do, what to say. I was dumbfounded."

For Craig, it was a "like a living nightmare". 

"It was so scary and worrying, it just didn’t seem real. We had to try and stay strong," he said.

But to the family's joy and relief, Mary pulled through again.

Back home and enjoying fish and chips together

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

She said: "If I'm honest, I didn't expect to come home. They moved me to another ward and said I was on palliative care. 

"I had so much support, I concentrated on that."

Mary had to stay in hospital for another four weeks but was eventually able to come home last Monday.

She said: "It was just absolute relief, just sat on my sofa with my boys around me - that's all I wanted, just to be at home with them."

Michael added: "It was unbelievable, you can't explain it, it's just sheer joy."

Mary was reunited with her beloved dog Latch and the family sat down for some fish and chips together, which Craig had promised his mum on her return home. 

There's still a journey ahead for Mary - she's on oxygen and will have to undergo physiotherapy.

Reflecting on her experience of Covid, she said: "It's absolutely horrific. You're in pain, you can't breathe, you do believe you're dying. It's awful.

"From what they are saying to me, it can take a long time to get better, I've just got to be patient and take it how it is."

The couple, who have nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren, both praised the staff who cared for them as "amazing" and are now looking forward to doing something special to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary later this year.