Michael Rosen, the writer, poet and broadcaster who spent 47 days in intensive care with coronavirus has taken his first steps since beginning his recovery.
Rosen, 74, the author of childrenâ€™s books including Weâ€™re Going on a Bear Hunt and Little Rabbit Foo Foo, charted the initial stages of his illness on Twitter before he deteriorated around the height of the pandemic.
His wife, Emma-Louise Williams, confirmed that the former childrenâ€™s laureate had had Covid-19 and that he was gradually recuperating at Whittington hospital in north London.
â€œVery pleased to say Michael is recovering steadily in a rehabilitation hospital,â€ she tweeted. â€œHe has been making really good progress this week and has been able to take his first steps today thanks to the great NHS physios who are keeping him busy!â€
She added that Rosen was keeping off social media to rest his â€œbody and mindâ€ while he deals with the â€œphysical and psychological traumaâ€ of his extended stay in hospital with the serious respiratory illness.
In response to a letter from a 12-year-old wellwisher thanking Rosen for his poem These Are the Hands in which he celebrates the work of nurses and doctors, Williams tweeted:
The author Philip Pullman tweeted that he was delighted to hear Rosen was now taking steps and sent his best wishes to him and his family.
Rosen was admitted to hospital on the week of 23 March and spend his first night in intensive care on 29 March, before being placed on a ward. He returned to the ICU in early April.
He described his illness on 22 March: â€œCanâ€™t stop my thermostat from crashing: icy hands, hot head. Freezing cold sweats. Under the covers for bed-breaking shakes. Image of war hero biting on a hankie, while best mate plunges live charcoal into the wound to cauterise it.â€
The next day he wondered whether he was suffering from a heavy flu rather than coronavirus. â€œHave had no chest pains. No persistent cough. So all along it could have been a heavy flu and not corona. Today the fevers are ebbing. In their place a deep muscle exhaustion. In every corner.â€
However, updates became sporadic and were posted by Williams soon after. On 20 AprilÂ she wrote: â€œThanks v much for all the love. Iâ€™m not updating regularly because when someone is very poorly things can change daily & details of Michaelâ€™s ongoing care from fantastic NHS staff are private. So please be patient, no news is good news.â€
After more than a fortnight without updates about his health, WilliamsÂ tweetedÂ on her own account on 23 May: â€œToday Michael has been in hospital for 8 weeks & Iâ€™m v happy to say he left ICU yesterday after a long & difficult 47 days. His recovery is continuing on the ward & will take time. He has done so well to get through this but please donâ€™t expect him back here yet.â€