An Aberdeen man has hailed the help of his wife after he fell into a coma with sepsis while on holiday abroad.
Graham Bennett, 56, and his wife Iris, 55, who live in Cove, were on holiday in Majorca in September when Graham took ill.
He ended up in a coma and his organs started to fail after he was taken to hospital.
Medics told his family he had a 10% chance of surviving.
However, Graham, who spent almost two months in hospital, battled to get better and has since returned home, where he is still recovering from his ordeal.
And he now wants to say a special thanks to his wife for her support.
He said: “People say when you get married you agree to be their partner in sickness and in health, but she’s taken it to the extreme.
“She’s never had to do anything like this before. I know I’m biased but everyone would tell you that.”
The retired painter and decorator has little recollection of falling ill but remembers waking up in the hospital.
And he joked that he had more pressing matters on his mind when he came round.
He said: “When I came out of coma, my first words were ‘What’s the score with my beloved Cove Rangers?’”
It’s not the first time that the father-of-two has ended up in hospital on holiday. He fell ill while on a cruise in the Caribbean in January 2018 and again in the Greek islands in June.
After going through those difficult times, the couple decided to take a break in Majorca instead of going on a cruise ship, booking a nine-day trip in September last year.
Unfortunately, Graham lost consciousness one night, slipping into a coma.
Iris said: “The first five days were fine and then gradually he was starting to eat less, drink less, have less energy and was hiding from the sun – and we love the sun.
“He’d fallen a couple of times as well. I’d had to get help to get him up a few times and they offered to put us in a disabled room. We hadn’t slept well, so the next day he said, ‘I think we’ll just go back upstairs and lie down’ and I was exhausted as well so I fell asleep.
“I woke up and Graham was still sound asleep and I didn’t want to disturb him so I took a magazine out to the balcony so I could hear him.
“But he never wakened. I realised we were supposed to be on a plane the next day coming home and I was thinking if I can’t get him to speak to me, how can I get him on a plane?
“He was already in a coma at that point and I didn’t know.”
They were transferred to the Hospital Quirónsalud Palmaplanas through the doctor who was called out to the hotel and waited for several hours before a doctor told Iris her husband was in a coma.
Iris was informed he had sepsis and his organs were shutting down and was also told he had a 10% chance of survival.
Iris said: “I was gobsmacked. The doctor tried to explain it as well as she could. There’s no question in my mind they saved his life.
“He was on kidney dialysis because his kidneys shut down, his liver shut down, he was getting assistance to breathe and he was being fed through a tube and had a catheter in.
“He was literally doing nothing for himself.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
The couple’s hospital bill was rising and Graham was moved to a high dependency unit at a public hospital, before Iris eventually managed to get him back to the UK – a flight which cost them around £18,500, after 58 days in hospital.
Graham said the adjustment to his new life has been quite difficult and he believes his wife should be nominated for an award due to her support.
He now suffers from mobility issues and has problems with his memory.
He said: “Since I came out the hospital I’ve found it very hard. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have carers, if I didn’t have Iris. Some days are better than others.
“Iris kept a diary and I asked if she would mind if I read it. I didn’t even get a quarter of the way through the book, it was so upsetting what she was left to do.
“I may be able to say thank you but I wasn’t as appreciative as I could be.
“If I didn’t have Iris I’d end up in a care home. I’m going to be in a wheelchair for life, which I find very hard.”