Tributes have been offered following the sad death of St Anne’s resident, Roehl Ribaya, who was cheered out of Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit having survived a 60 day battle with Covid-19.
Aerospace engineer, Mr Ribaya, who was aged just 47, suffered a cardiac arrest at his home and died in hospital. His widow, nurse Stella Ricio-Ribaya, said he never recovered from the long-term effects of the virus. ‘He was never the same. He was so breathless all the time. Please follow the government’s advice so we can stop this virus. He was taken too soon. We don’t want any more to die.’
Close friend Mark Delabajan said the family were ‘devastated’. He said Mr Ribaya’s cause of death was cardiac arrest with the secondary cause given as post-Covid pulmonary fibrosis. He added: ‘It was long Covid. His breathing was never the same and he couldn’t get up the stairs. He was rushed back into hospital a number of times.’
Mr Ribaya arrived at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital on 29 May and spent 48 days in intensive care on a ventilator. In July, when he was clapped out of intensive care, lead consultant Dr Jason Cupitt said it signalled they had ‘survived the first wave of this silent killer’.
Today, Kevin McGee, chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said their staff were devastated at the death. ‘We were extremely saddened to hear about the death of Roehl and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.’