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‘It brought me to tears’ - Ambulance worker welcomed home after battling coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 13:30 23 May 2020

Alan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan Robertson

Alan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan Robertson

Alan Robertson

An ambulance worker has described the emotional moment his community welcomed him home after he spent five weeks fearing for his life battling coronavirus.

Alan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan RobertsonAlan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan Robertson

Alan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service colleagues, police officers and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to show their gratitude.

Mr Robertson, who is an emergency medical technician for the East of England Ambulance Service, was admitted to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds on Friday, April 10, and his family were told to prepare for the worst.

MORE: Paramedic who caught coronavirus just three days after starting thanks NHS staff after recovery



But he is now on the road to recovery, and returned to his family and Ash Close home on Monday, May 18.

Alan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan RobertsonAlan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan Robertson

And on Thursday night’s NHS clap, the father-of-seven and grandfather-of-eight was the focus of the community’s attention.

Mr Robertson said: “I would like to say thank you to everyone in Ash Close for your kindness, well wishes and generosity.

“I can’t find words to express how I feel about last night. It was unreal and very emotional. It brought me to tears.

“I honestly thought I wasn’t coming home and they warned my family it wasn’t looking good.

Alan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan RobertsonAlan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan Robertson

“But the West Suffolk angels pulled out everything they had, and I can’t thank them enough.

MORE: Paramedic ‘emotional’ after queueing shoppers let him go to the front and pay for his groceries



“How can you find the words for the people who gave me my life back?”

The 61-year-old said he was looking forward to getting back on the road with his “green family”.

Alan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan RobertsonAlan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan Robertson

Mr Robertson added: “It’s a job that I love and I can’t wait to get back to.

“But right now, I’m feeling extremely humble and I’m glad to be home.

“Thank you to the amazing guys in blue for taking the time to attend, thank you to my green family and thank you Chris Riches for bringing that amazing truck. I will never forget this.”

The socially distanced celebration was organised by the family’s former neighbour and friend, Dean Frost, who said he was blown away with the community’s incredible generosity and is glad to see Mr Robertson back at home.

Alan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan RobertsonAlan Robertson, 61, was greeted with flashing lights, music and a roaring round of applause as his neighbours, ambulance service, police and Thetford’s famous musical lorry came to welcome him home after battling the coronavirus. Photo: Alan Robertson

And residents from Ash Close donated just over £200 for the ambulance worker, which Mr Robertson said is going towards a big family holiday once the pandemic is over.

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