King's patient survives COVID-19 and a stroke

Richard is recuperating at home after making an incredible recovery

Richard Studd

Richard Studd, 54, from Beckenham, is recuperating at home after making an incredible recovery from both COVID-19 and a stroke, which required emergency neurosurgery.

In March 2020, Richard’s colleagues raised the alarm when he failed to turn up for work. He was found unconscious and was taken to King’s College Hospital where a CT scan revealed he had experienced a bleed in the pineal gland in the centre of his brain. Richard was then rushed to theatre where he underwent a procedure to relieve excess fluid in his brain (an endoscopic third ventriculostomy).

Richard was recovering from the procedure when doctors told him that the routine COVID-19 swab taken on the day following his admission had tested positive. Bassel Zebian, consultant neurosurgeon at King’s explained: “Richard became very unwell, and we all had major concerns that he may not make it through his illness. Just over a week after his admission he required a ventilator to breathe due to the effect COVID-19 had on his lungs. He also developed kidney failure and had to undergo dialysis. The whole team worked tirelessly to give Richard the best chance of survival. Richard also showed an incredible fighting spirit. I can confidently now say that he has made an excellent recovery.”

Richard Studd, who works as a primary school teacher, added: “I can only describe the experience as a terrible ordeal; there’s no doubt that I came very close to meeting my Maker. I don’t think I will ever forget the moment the doctor told me that the damage in my brain was healing – I could have cried with joy! I feel as though I have been handed another chance at life. The stroke left me with extreme fatigue, and I’ve had support from physiotherapy and occupational therapy to help me on the road to recovery. But one of the most important things I have is a positive attitude. I’m taking things one step at a time.”