A man who had been seriously ill in Poland and now suffers from malnutrition, was repatriated to New Zealand from Poland by air ambulance after the public raised more than $ 114,000 to cover costs.
Mathew Wilson, 46, is now in quarantine in the North Shore Hospital ICU after returning to ‘ghost town’ Auckland under Alert Level 4 restrictions this week.
Wilson was working as a graphic designer in Poland before contracting a blood infection that left him seriously ill in June.
“When we got off the plane it was like a ghost town, there was no one there except the people from MIQ and they greeted me at home,” Wilson said.
Air Ambulance New Zealand arranged for Wilson’s repatriation, took him out of Poland last week and took him to New Zealand accompanied by a doctor, intensive care nurse and the required medical equipment .
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He arrived in Auckland on Monday and was taken directly to North Shore Hospital as part of a process monitored by Auckland Regional Public Health and MIQ.
Wilson will be completing his two-week MIQ in the intensive care unit at North Shore Hospital and will continue to receive treatment there afterward.
“I have my own room, all doors closed and sealed, and I can’t go out, and whoever comes in puts on the PPE gear and I have to put on my mask,” he said.
Wilson’s condition is improving rapidly and he said he was told he could be discharged from hospital in three weeks.
“The communication here is amazing, the doctors come to me every day and I know exactly what’s going on,” he said.
“I am slowly rebuilding my body after malnutrition. I was weighed the day I reached 48 kilograms, when I am normally 70 to 75 years old. They have a good plan to get me well very quickly.
He said it would have been impossible for him to return without the help of people who donated to a Give a little page created by his family, his return trip costing about $ 100,000.
“I’m totally grateful that I don’t really have words to express what I’m feeling, I don’t really have words to express how I feel,” he said.
“It brings tears to my eyes thinking that people genuinely care about my situation with so much going on in the world.”
But Wilson’s financial situation is “dire,” and he still owes the Polish hospital $ 25,000 in medical bills. He hopes people will continue to support him on his journey to recovery.