Coronavirus patients who have lived to tell the tale share their stories

The devastating effect of Covid-19 is visible in its terrible death toll — but it has also affected millions of us in other, very different ways. From the man who was given a 1% chance of survival to the victim who spent 172 days in intensive care… these are the coronavirus patients who have lived to tell the tale share their stories

Double blow with cancer and Covid

Mother-of-two Christine Fildes was treated for both cancer and coronavirus last year. 

She says: Until I had advanced ovarian cancer diagnosed in September 2019, I’d always been healthy. The news was devastating — all sorts of emotions were running through my mind: would my sons and Alan be planning my funeral?

Then, just as I finished six months of chemo, I got Covid, pneumonia and sepsis all in one go, and was back in hospital. It’s been a really tough year.

I feel unlucky — cancer robbed me of 12 months and I was set to enjoy life again when I got Covid. But then I’m lucky to still be here.

In May, Cancer Research UK asked me to take part in its fundraising TV advert about people who had battled through cancer and Covid. Now strangers stop me in the street, saying: ‘I’ve seen you on TV’, which is a funny feeling. But it gives me a sense of achievement after all I’ve battled through recently. 

Given 1 per cent chance of survival  

Steve Banks, 45, was given just a one per cent chance of surviving Covid. The building site manager lives in East Tilbury, Essex, with wife Lisa, 38, a clothing store manager, and their two children. 

He says: When I first woke up after 50 days on a ventilator, I was completely confused — there was a nurse there clapping and saying ‘well done’ and I had no idea where I was or what had happened. Then she helped me video call Lisa: there were lots of tears.

I’d started feeling unwell on March 17, like someone had clouted me on the head. I went home early — something I never do — and went straight to bed. Lisa rang 111 and they said it sounded like Covid and that we should self-isolate.

A midwife friend told Lisa to get me straight to hospital — I was put into an induced coma and Lisa was told I had a one per cent chance of survival as my organs were shutting down. Nurses told her to write messages to be read out at my bedside before I passed away.

Amazingly, I managed to hang on and, by May 12, I was off the ventilator. Two days later, the nurses had to use a hoist to get me up off the bed — even then my body felt like a dead weight.

A few days later, I managed to walk a couple of steps with a Zimmer frame and was finally allowed home on May 26. It was so emotional — as I was helped out of the ambulance, a few friends had gathered outside to see me.

One of the doctors said as I left that I was one of the sickest Covid patients they had treated — I was a bit overweight but they don’t know the reason I got it so badly.

You can read more COVID Survival stories here.

Source: Daily Mail

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