Parents who were diagnosed with coronavirus praise NHS workers

A mother and father from Neath who were both diagnosed with coronavirus have praised NHS staff after one of them was left fighting for his life.

Laura and Matt Jacobs both became unwell in late February after Mrs Jacobs' mother returned from Italy showing symptoms of Covid-19.

Mr Jacobs and his mother-in-law, Melissa Powell, were both admitted to hospital.

The three family members were some of the first people in Wales to be tested for the virus.

Mr and Mrs Jacobs have two children who both tested negative for the virus. The parents want to reassure people using their experience of survival and recovery.

Mrs Jacobs' mother, Melissa Powell, tested positive for the virus after showing symptoms following a trip to Italy. Credit: Laura Jacobs

Mrs Jacobs' mother, Melissa Powell, had returned from an area of Italy that had not yet had any confirmed cases of coronavirus. Mrs Powell was tested after cases started to appear in that area.

The parents both began experiencing high temperatures, aching and flu-like symptoms before developing dry coughs and tight chests.

Mr Jacobs, who suffers with mild asthma, was admitted to hospital after his condition deteriorated rapidly.

"I'm 35 years old, relatively fit and healthy, very mild asthma, but it knocked me for six. I struggled to breathe and couldn't move," he said.

Mrs Jacobs has initially been most worried about her mother. Credit: Laura Jacobs

Mrs Jacobs said initially she had been most concerned about her mother.

"From what we'd read we were kind of most worried about my mum because she's obviously older, but I felt like it actually affected Matt the worst out of all of us.

"He's obviously early thirties, fit and healthy, no other health conditions other than mild asthma, but he actually had it far more severely and it ended up with him having viral pneumonia as well, so it just seems like it doesn't matter what your age is."

Mr Jacobs has thanked NHS staff for 'saving his life.' Credit: Laura Jacobs

As part of ITV's NHS Day, a day dedicated to celebrating NHS staff working on the frontline, the couple have praised the hospital workers that cared for them.

"I think in a way we were lucky that we were some of the first people actually diagnosed within Wales," Mrs Jacobs said.

"I think maybe things would be a little bit different now with the level of cases coming through."

Mr Jacobs said: "I just want to say thank you for all those frontline workers in the NHS for helping save my life."

The family want to remind people to be 'sensible' and follow government guidelines. Credit: Laura Jacobs

The family are reminding people to follow government guidelines in order to stay safe and protect the NHS.

Mrs Jacobs said: "I would say that we both felt pretty unwell with this so it's not something to brush off.

"At the same time, I know there's a lot of people at the moment that are absolutely terrified and I think you've got to kind of balance it out. There's no need for things like panic buying. I think it's just about being sensible really."

Mr Jacobs added: "Listening to the government guidelines is important, they're there for a reason and people need to stay at home essentially. That's the only way we're going to protect our NHS."

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