Neil McCafferty was admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital in October with a gall bladder infection.
The 67-year-old was also treated for sepsis before developing Covid-19 and spending several weeks being treated in intensive care.
He is now in rehab and says he “delighted to be alive”.
Neil is recovering in Derry’s Waterside hospital.
Like many at this time of year, Christmas is normally a time for the McCaffertys to host a big family gathering.Neil and wife Bridie traditionally have 17 family members at their home on Boxing Day.
Although different this year, it “will be glorious,” Neil said.
“I’ll get to see them. I am sat on the ground floor, by the window. They are all coming down on Christmas morning,” he said.
He’s learning to walk again. On Wednesday he shaved himself for the first time in months.
“That was a big achievement. It’s all the small things that didn’t seem important before.”
He remembers the long weeks of treatment in intensive care as “a nightmare” he could not wake from.
“It was horrible. I wasn’t feeling any pain per se, it was just a mental anguish,” he told BBC Radio Foyle.
“But the real nightmare was what my family had to endure. They were told I wouldn’t make it and that hurts me.”
“But I couldn’t, it just kept going and going”.
With underlying health condition, Neil had been careful throughout the pandemic.
“But I was unlucky,” he said.
He added: “The experiences that you go through with this are the absolute worst.
“I am so lucky, so, so lucky”.
We wish Neil, his wife Bridie and their family a ‘glorious’ Christmas.Tags: