A CHESHIRE nurse stranded abroad after being treated for coronavirus has been overwhelmed with offers of help.

Mike Delaney is stranded in Barbados after contracting the virus during a 60th birthday trip.

He has been amazed by the kindness of strangers after more than 100 people offered him free accommodation to recuperate in, while he tries to organise a flight home.

Mike went to the island in March - before any travel restrictions were imposed - and intended to stay for two weeks.

He became unwell soon after his arrival and was diagnosed with coronavirus and taken to a makeshift hospital at a Barbados military base.

Fortunately his symptoms were relatively mild, but it took three weeks for the virus to clear from his system. Mike didn’t know where he would stay on discharge or when or how he would be able to get home.

The mother of a fellow patient put a call out for help on Facebook and more than 100 people responded.

Mike said: “It’s beautiful and makes the trauma of incarceration fade quicker. I cannot believe how lovely everyone has been. The medical staff and authorities here have been amazing.

“There were times in the hospital that were quite traumatic. I saw lots of people who were very ill, lots of tears, fear and heard screams.

“There was a gentleman in our group, who was maybe 70. He seemed fine then suddenly started coughing again. By the evening he was really bad and died overnight. It was as quick as that and quite a shock to us. It was another reminder about how strong this illness is. If it wants to take you, it will.

“I was in such a precarious position but everyone has just rallied around me. I’ve been given this beautiful beachfront apartment to stay in, then somebody who runs a local shop arrived and filled my fridge. It was unbelievable. I started crying. I cannot believe how kind people have been.”

Mike is a former psychiatric nurse who retrained to become a respected addiction specialist after overcoming prescription and alcohol dependency issues himself.

He recently helped launch Delamere rehab clinic in Cuddington, Cheshire, where he is clinical director.

He said: “I’ve started to do some work again offering remote consultations and supervision, but am surprised how quickly I tire still.

“I’ve had a lot of support from my colleagues at Delamere, which has remained open to help people throughout all of this. I’m really looking forward to getting back and being part of the team again.

“I drew a lot on my own experience as a therapist and someone in recovery to cope with my time in hospital and expect I’ll need to continue to do that as it all sinks in. It’s so important to recognise trauma and find a means to let it go.”

Mike, of North Lanarkshire, Scotland, is in daily contact with the British Embassy but it is not yet clear when a flight home will be available. May 18 is a possibility.

Barbados is in strict lockdown to protect its small island community. Residents are only allowed out on allocated days to go to the supermarket and chemist.

Mike’s 60th birthday is on May 14. He was due to have a party with 120 guests, but now expects it’s likely he’ll still be alone on the island.

He said: “I think I can ‘suffer’ this for another couple of weeks! I’m lucky to be here and lucky to be alive. I’m so grateful to everyone.”