Man who nearly died after catching flu volunteering at hospital that saved his life

Alan Curran spent over 11 weeks in intensive care after developing pneumonia and sepsis after catching a flu.

Man declared clinically dead after catching flu volunteering at hospital that saved his life NHSGGC

A man who was declared clinically dead for nearly half an hour is now volunteering at the hospital that saved his life.

Alan Curran began feeling unwell and developing a cough a few days visiting a sick colleague in November 2022.

The next thing the 54-year-old from Glasgow remembers is waking up in the intensive care unit at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in February 2023.

Alan had developed pneumonia and sepsis after catching a flu that transpired into further complications.

Doctors and nurses battled to keep Alan alive as he suffered several heart attacks, kidney failure and was in cardiac arrest for 28 minutes.

“I spent over 11 weeks in intensive care where I was in a critical condition and for the vast majority of that period, I was heavily sedated in an induced coma”, he explained.

“My memory isn’t clear and most of the memories that I do have, are of severe delirium.

“I spent six and a half months in total in hospital and cannot thank the support of all the nurses, doctors and staff who helped me during my stay.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the unbelievable treatment and care that the staff provided for me and I will be eternally grateful.”

Alan now volunteers at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary after gaining an understanding of the compassionate support provided by volunteer teams across the organisation.

“There were volunteers that would come to the ward, and I wasn’t really engaging at first as I had family and friends visiting regularly”, he added.

“After a couple of visits, there was one particular woman who I really enjoyed her company and I used to look forward to her coming to visit, just to have a chat and a laugh. It helps to break up the monotony of a day and lifts your mood.

“From my own experiences as a patient, I was invited to become a volunteer after attending the Inspire programme at the Intensive Care Unit at GRI in October.

“I get a great deal of satisfaction from it, both in the way that I can help people, and it gives me purpose and something to look forward to during the week.”

The volunteer service at NHSGGC is always looking for new people to help provide additional support to patients and Alan encouraged anyone who is interested to get involved.

“I was always someone in the past who thought about volunteering, but I would put good intentions on the shelf and have the ‘I will do it later’.

“NHSGGC was crucial in saving my life and I wanted to give something back. If I can do it, really anyone can.

“If you have even a small amount of spare time, there is a role you can fulfil, and I would encourage you to contact the volunteer service.”

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