Inventor left stranded in China for a year after country goes into lockdown

man in chinese factory

David Green at the factory in Guangdong where the Eggcellent Lighting Product is being manufactured - Credit: David Green

When David Green set out on a business trip to China in March 2020 he assumed he would be away a matter of weeks - a year on and he has finally been able to return home to Suffolk.

The inventor, 56, travelled to China to start the mass manufacturing process of his unique baby comforter the Eggcellent Lighting Product, expecting to set the wheels in motion before returning home to start marketing his product.

egg shaped baby comforter

The Eggcellent Lighting Product is a unique baby comforter which allows parents to record their own soothing sounds for baby - Credit: David Green

He had already laid the foundations during an earlier visit but after flying to New Zealand for Chinese New Year last January he found himself unable to return because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Instead he flew back to the UK but by March Hong Kong was reopening to international arrivals so he took the chance and flew out.

"I spent one night in a quarantine hotel which was free, not like the ones here, and then I returned to the apartment I had been renting," he said. "I had to have two tests and someone came each day to take my temperature. Friends delivered food and I would open the door wearing a mask to take it in."

Not wanting to waste any time, Mr Green, who spent 16 years living in Asia previously, set to work.

"I designed the box for my product while I was in lockdown," he said. 

Line up chinese factory bosses

David Green with the team from the factory in China where they are manufacturing his product. He spent a year there after initially planning on visiting for just three months - Credit: David Green

Most Read

Once his quarantine period was up Mr Green was given a QR code to prove he did not pose a threat and could then travel freely around the city.

He visited the factory making his comforter - which he says is the only product of its kind with a recording function so parents can choose whatever sound they want, including that of their own voice, to soothe their child back to sleep.

By June Mr Green had approved the quality of manufacturing was ready to return home by June but despite there being no cases locally since around April or May the borders were still closed.

"I was in the Guangdong region and there are 113m people living there. They have only had eight people die from coronavirus," he explained.

Tow men with abby comforter

David Green, right, with his finance director Sean back in Suffolk - Credit: David Green

Each month he had to travel out of the city andbooka  hotel, although he didn't actually have to stay there, so he could renew his business visa.

His hopes were raised when flights were rescheduled but they were then cancelled. There was a plan to catch a train locally straight out to the airport and fly home from there but that was also scuppered.

Once international flights did resume Mr Green faced a race against time over fears he may have to stay in a quarantine hotel once home.

He managed to book a journey home travelling from Shekou Port onto Hong Kong where he flew to Singapore before returning to Heathrow.

Thankfully he managed to get home earlier this month and with China not on the 'red list' he was able to fly into Heathrow, travel back to Stowmarket by train and then self isolate at home for 10 days.

There was one final hurdle however, the form he had to complete to confirm he had returned from a non red list country could not be sent to his Chinese phone so he had to wait until he landed and could switch back to a UK SIM to complete the form.

He has now completed his quarantine and, with the help of his business partner, able to finally start to properly market the Eggcellent.

The product is now on sale via Amazon and can already be found in homes across Suffolk and the rest of the UK after it beat Mr Green home.