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'Fit and healthy' fireman spent 10 days in intensive care with coronavirus

Steve Landon collapsed twice and struggled to breath after contracting the virus.

A 'fit and healthy' firefighter spent 10 days in intensive care after being struck down by coronavirus.

Children's nurse Becky Landon says her husband Steve suffered with cold-like symptoms before collapsing twice and struggling to breathe.

The 39-year-old Deeside firefighter was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital for treatment.

Becky said the virus was like a "roller coaster" that could make a patient's health deteriorate just when they appear to be getting better.

The dad-of-four, who lives in Wrexham, came out of intensive care on Monday, but is still receiving oxygen on another ward.

40-year-old Becky, who works on the Maelor's children's ward said: "Steve and I started having cold-like symptoms so we both went into self isolation".

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He started off feeling fatigued and achey but had no temperature at that point.

I had similar symptoms but didn't develop a cough or a temperature, but as I got better, Steve got worse and worse.

By March 26, Steve developed a cough which started to get troublesome so I rang the GP for advice. Being a nurse, I did his observations and reported that he had a temperature and was told to keep an eye on him.But the next day, Steve was so weak, he couldn't move off the sofa.

– Becky Landon

Becky said by March 28, Steve was extremely pale, his cough had worsened and he collapsed, so she called the GP again and was told to ring for an ambulance.

She added: "Steve's oxygen levels were really low and his temperature was high so they decided to take him to hospital.

"That was the worst bit, not being able to go with him.

"Steve wanted to walk to the ambulance himself, but his legs wouldn't carry him and he collapsed in the lounge so they had to bring a chair to him.

"I was trying to shield the children because it was quite traumatic for them seeing crews in their masks and protective clothing giving oxygen to their dad.

"My daughter told me all she can remember is her dad in the chair, it was horrible."

Steve was assessed at the accident and emergency department before being moved to the critical care unit.

He spent one night there after "perking up" and was moved to a ward, but 12 hours later, his condition deteriorated and he returned to critical care where he spent 10 days.

He was put on a CPAP (pressurised oxygen) machine and thankfully didn't need a ventilator but had to have a chest drain put in when one of his lungs collapsed.

On Monday, he was finally able to go back on to the ward again. Becky said: "Steve is doing better but we think he will be in hospital for a while.

He is still weak and can't walk or stand up. He will have to learn towalk again, it's so weird.

Before this happened, he was very fit and healthy and would train a lot.

We are a very active family, we've done Tough Mudder and other challenges and we are always rock climbing or mountain climbing.

I think it shocked him how much this has wiped him out.

It has shocked us all and hit home to a lot of people that this virus can happen to anyone.

– Becky Landon

Becky described her heartbreak when she received a video Steve had tried to send telling his children how much he loves them.

He couldn't breathe and Becky decided the video was too distressing to show 14-year-old Caleb, 13-year-old Evie, 11-year-old Abigail and seven-year-old Seth.

She recalled: "He couldn't breathe long enough to string a sentence together, he was gasping for breath, it was awful. I couldn't show the kids that.

"When we speak to him now, there's definitely an improvement, even though he still needs oxygen.

"He's got a long journey to recovery but he'll get there, he's a fighter".