AN EGYPTIAN doctor at York Hospital who contracted a rare and critical form of Covid-19 - and feared that he would be removed from the UK - has had his visa extended by the Home Office, and is on the road to recovery.

Dr Basem Enany, a locum consultant cardiologist at York Hospital, was placed on a ventilator after developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare complication of Covid-19 and other viruses, which left him partially paralysed.

The Press reported last month that his critically ill condition was exacerbated by fears the Home Office would not renew his work visa because of his illness, leaving his family at risk of removal from the UK.

But Dr Enany yesterday revealed he was grateful after the Home Office extended his visa for a further year, adding that he can now have time to properly recover.

His family added that he has now been discharged from hospital and transferred to a specialised neuro-rehabilitation unit closer to home.

His colleague, Sanjay Gupta, said: “Hopefully he will stay there for a couple of weeks before being allowed home to finally be reunited with his beloved wife and beautiful daughters. Once again, it is difficult to express in words, the gratitude that the family feel to those who helped raise awareness. You gave him and his family that most precious and singular gift that made all this possible - hope."

Dr Enany, who has not been able to see his wife or his four daughters for more than 70 days, said: “I hope to be able to return to my work as a cardiologist as soon as I can.

“I love what I do. I had never been sick like this before.

"And although as a doctor I knew about the great work done by other members of the medical team like nurses and physios over the pandemic, I appreciate them even more now I have experienced as a patient what they do. I have learned a lot from them and thank everyone so much who has looked after me.”

More than 4,000 people have made donations to a crowdfunding site set up to pay for Dr Enany’s legal and medical bills - totalling more than £136,000.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We’ve worked closely with Dr Enany’s family during this very difficult time to assure them they are here entirely legally and have every right to remain in the UK, and we have provided them with an extension to their visa, which will not affect their pathway to indefinite leave to remain, to allow him to recover.

“Health and social care professionals from all over the world play a vital role in hospitals and care homes across the UK and we are hugely grateful for their work.”