HUNDREDS of patients have returned home after winning their battle with coronavirus at the trust which runs Colchester Hospital.

In total, 423 patients have been discharged after being admitted to a ward and treated for the virus at the East Suffolk and North Essex Trust.

To date 335 people have sadly died at the trust’s hospitals after contracting Covid-19 since the outbreak began.

Doctors and nurses have lined the ward corridors to clap as those who have battled the virus left hospital to continue their recovery.

Paul Godfrey, 32, was rushed to Colchester Hospital in March after becoming severely unwell.

Mr Godfrey, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tested positive for Covid-19 and was told it was likely he would need to be put in an induced coma.

During his time in hospital he beat pneumonia, two collapsed lungs and the virus.

After returning home Mr Godfrey, from Frinton, started fundraising to say thank you to the teams who saved his life.

He said: “The team at the hospital made me feel so safe.

"I had a nurse looking after me 24 hours a day. They never left me. If I hadn’t gone to hospital that day I wouldn’t be here, 100 per cent.”

Father-of-two Omar Taylor spent 19 days in an induced coma in hospital.

Mr Taylor, from Rowhedge, recovered and returned home in time to celebrate his son’s second birthday.

His wife Kaitlyn Taylor, a trainee nurse, said: “I just want to let people know that there is hope.

“I also want to bring attention to the frontline staff. They truly are the reason my husband is alive.”

Jason Mageehan, Little Bromley, was in a coma for more than three weeks after testing positive for Covid-19.

The 36-year-old was fully intubated after paramedics assessed he needed to be hospitalised at the end of March, despite the fact that he was not showing the symptoms of fever or high cough.

“I am completely and utterly indebted to the staff [at the hospital],” he said.

“For many people, it will be a bad cold and not much more. But for a significant amount of people it is going to be more serious.”

Across England a further 115 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died. It brings the death toll in hospitals to 27,159.

In total, 723 people across Colchester and Tendring have tested positive for the virus.