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Taxi driver who spent 222 days in hospital battling Covid may be forced to go bankrupt as can’t work

Britain’s longest-suffering Covid patient has revealed he may be forced to declare bankruptcy because his condition means he’s unable to work. 

Ali Sakallioglu, 57, from Catford, south east London is the UK’s longest-suffering Covid patient. He spent a total of 222 days in hospital and care beds after contracting the deadly virus in March.

During his time in hospital he had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, collapsed lungs, multiple organ failure and sepsis, and his children were told to say their last goodbyes three times.

Grandfather-of-nine Ali, who is also a poker player, was discharged from hospital in November, and told how he came home to a mountain of bills.

Ali Sakallioglu, 57, from Catford, south east London is the UK’s longest-suffering Covid patient and admitted today he may be forced to declare bankruptcy because he can’t work to pay his outstanding bills

Ali spent a total of 222 days in hospital and care beds after contracting the deadly virus earlier in March

Ali spent a total of 222 days in hospital and care beds after contracting the deadly virus earlier in March

Speaking to BBC Breakfast this morning, he admitted the situation is ‘very difficult’, adding: ‘We’re all writing them letters and whatnot, I’m thinking about going bankrupt because I have no other choice.

‘I can’t afford to pay my bills, I’m not working. I take life day by day, breath by breath, that’s the only way to do it. I don’t think about the future because I don’t know what the future’s going to bring.’

Ali said he struggles to dress himself and can’t even cook or walk up the stairs.

While battling Covid, which has now claimed more than 100,000 lives in the UK, he told how he suffered lung failure, liver failure, kidney failure, a stroke, sepsis and gangrene in his lungs.

During Ali's time in hospital he had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, collapsed lungs, multiple organ failure and sepsis, and his children were told to say their last goodbyes three times

During Ali’s time in hospital he had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, collapsed lungs, multiple organ failure and sepsis, and his children were told to say their last goodbyes three times

Ali was later rushed to King's College Hospital, in Camberwell, for surgery after suffering a heart attack and was placed into an induced coma

Ali was later rushed to King’s College Hospital, in Camberwell, for surgery after suffering a heart attack and was placed into an induced coma

Ali, who has Type 1 diabetes, developed Covid-19 symptoms at the end of March – when Britain was first plunged into a national lockdown.

After following the government advice at the time, which was to call 111, he was told to self-isolate.

But he was rushed to hospital at the beginning of April after his symptoms got worse and put on a ventilator after reaching University Hospital Lewisham, where he tested positive for Covid-19. 

Ali was later rushed to King’s College Hospital, in Camberwell, for surgery after suffering a heart attack and was placed into an induced coma. 

After three months in a coma Ali was eventually moved to a nursing home to help with his rehabilitation, including regaining his ability to walk

After three months in a coma Ali was eventually moved to a nursing home to help with his rehabilitation, including regaining his ability to walk

Taxi driver Ali said he now struggles to dress himself and can't even cook or walk up the stairs

Taxi driver Ali said he now struggles to dress himself and can’t even cook or walk up the stairs

‘I managed to ring my daughter and I said look, they’re going to put me in a coma and tell everyone I love them and hopefully I’ll see you on the other side,’ he told the BBC.

‘And obviously when I woke up it was three months later… They told my kids I wasn’t going to make it.’  

His children Ali, 38, Seniz, 36, Ayse, 34, Jay, 32, and Yasemin, 31, all wore full PPE as they said goodbye to their father, but against all the odds he pulled through.  

After three months in a coma he was eventually moved to a nursing home to help with his rehabilitation, including regaining his ability to walk.  

Ali’s daughter Seniz said it was ‘incredibly hard’ seeing him fight for survival in hospital. 

During the 56-year-old's time in hospital, he had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, collapsed lungs, organ failure and sepsis. His family (pictured here with Ali) were told three times that he was going to die

During the 56-year-old’s time in hospital, he had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, collapsed lungs, organ failure and sepsis. His family (pictured here with Ali) were told three times that he was going to die

Ali's daughter Seniz (pictured) said it was 'incredibly hard' seeing him fight for survival in hospital

Ali’s daughter Seniz (pictured) said it was ‘incredibly hard’ seeing him fight for survival in hospital

‘It was like watching him in pain, take every single breath and watching somebody go through not not being able to breathe, almost drowning in their own fluids.

‘To have to watch that and know that they’re going through that every second of the day, it was incredibly hard,’ she told the BBC. 

‘He continued to stay strong, for us.’ 

Today scientists warned coronavirus cases are still rising in parts of England and are falling too slowly in others to relieve the pressure on hospitals – but said the brutal national lockdown is still working. 

Professor Paul Elliot, the director of the Imperial College London study, said infections rose slightly in the East Midlands over the first three weeks of the national shutdown and flattened in the West Midlands and the North. 


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