Edinburgh pensioner survives Covid and is now ready to celebrate his 90th birthday

Pensioner Allan Sinclair’s family feared the worst when he tested positive for Covid-19 a week after being admitted to hospital. But now they are all preparing to celebrate his 90th birthday after he survived the virus

Mr Sinclair, from Balerno, is due to leave St John’s Hospital in Livingston today, three weeks after he was taken in with chest pains.

His daughter Donna Auld, 42, from South Gyle, said: “When he was admitted he was given a Covid test and placed in a red Covid ward for a day and a half while they waited for his result. It came back negative so he was moved to an amber ward and diagnosed with fluid on the lungs – that’s what was causing the chest pains.

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"Exactly seven days later, while he was still receiving treatment in hospital, he had a high temperature so was tested again and this time it came back positive.

At nearly 90, Allan Sinclair has survived Covid and is going home from hospital
At nearly 90, Allan Sinclair has survived Covid and is going home from hospital

"When they told me, I immediately thought the worst. Since he’s in the highest risk category – his age, he’s got diabetes and a heart condition – I just thought he’s not going to make it out of hospital. He has just been so lucky.”

And it’s not the first time Mr Sinclair, who ran his own business selling mohair wool and later worked as a taxi driver, has survived against the odds.

Ms Auld said: "He was diagnosed with a heart condition as a teenager and was told by doctors he wasn’t going to live past the age of 20, but somehow he did.

“Then when he was working as a taxi driver he had a near-fatal car accident. He took a job down to Newcastle and on the way back, driving overnight, the lights had gone out at a roundabout so he couldn’t see it as he was driving up to it, he hit the roundabout, the car turned over several times and he was left with a broken back in three places and collapsed lungs. He was in intensive care for quite a long time, but luckily he survived that as well.

Donna Auld is looking forward to her dad's 90th birthday celebrations

“Soon after that he had triple heart bypass surgery to have a metal valve fitted – and now he’s survived Covid.”

Mr Sinclair was declared medically fit to leave hospital ten days, even though he was still testing positive for Covid, but could not go home because he has carers four times a day and his care package could not restart while he was still Covid-positive.

But Ms Auld said the delay has not dented his gratitude.

“He says he feels the luckiest person in the world – he’s got such a happy, positive attitude. Even after three weeks in hospital he’s praising the nurses, saying how special they are and praising the hospital food and joking about when he gets out of hospital he’ll probably want to go back in for meal times. He always looks for the good in everything.”

She has plans in place for a 90th birthday meal on Friday when step-daughter Angie Duncan will join them.

And Ms Auld is looking forward to her dad getting home today. "Because of social distancing I’ve not been able to hug him since March but the hospital has confirmed it’s safe for me to hug him when he gets home.”

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