Zahid Mahmood had a had a tracheostomy fitted in 2021 after he suffered a brain injury, and until recently, requiring one-to-one care in Wolverhampton.
He was transferred initially to a care home in the city before later being admitted to New Cross Hospital where he has since received extensive treatment.
And now the 49-year-old, who hopes of becoming a chef, has been supported to leave hospital to continue his rehabilitation at a care home in Birmingham, before going home.
Zahid, who is now being supported to feed himself, said: “I feel a lot better and it feels really good to go home. I’m looking forward to eating again because I’ve only been having tea and squash myself. I thank all the staff for their magic care.”
The hospital's respiratory physiotherapy team progressed his wean, and with support from specialist consultant Neil Giblett and others including the Royal Stoke University Hospital, he was decannulated – the process whereby a tracheostomy tube is removed once patient no longer needs it – just before Christmas.
Sophie Rogers, senior respiratory physiotherapist, has been caring for him on Ward C14. She said: “Along with the Tracheostomy and Laryngectomy Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), we have managed to decannulate (remove the tracheostomy) Zahid after two years.
“He’s keen to tell everyone about our team and how much we’ve improved his quality of life since removing it. His main goals have always been getting the tracheostomy out, starting oral intake and going home. Zahid is an inspiration to all patients out there with a tracheostomy.
"He is now having a trial of oral intake and he’s been discharged to a care home in Birmingham while his return to the family home is being planned. We’re proud and delighted to have improved his quality of life and to help him get home."
An electrolyte imbalance to Zahid’s spine caused him to fit, presenting him as a “unique” patient to the trust.
Emily Davies-Veric, advanced practitioner for speech and language therapy, said: "When Zahid came to us, he was very reliant on his tracheostomy, but we got to a point where very slowly, we managed to restore normal airway use so his voice could return.
“We’ve worked together across teams and in the community visited Zahid in the care home, so between us, we created a pathway for his discharge.
“We feel lucky because not many hospitals have the infrastructure to do this. We collaborated effectively and the patient has benefitted.”
Donna Clift, senior sister from the critical care outreach team, said: “Along with getting Zahid well again, the best thing about this has been we’ve all learnt so much because we haven’t been daunted to try things. In turn, Zahid has been happy to try things to get well again.”