A former RAF fighter pilot from Cheltenham says he has been left traumatised after recovering from coronavirus in hospital.

Dave Lewins was admitted to Cheltenham General Hospital in March after he contracted the virus.

Despite being physically fit, the 60-year-old’s health deteriorated rapidly and he was moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) - where he was placed on a ventilator.

Dave was placed on a ventilator while in an intensive care unit. Credit: ITV News West Country
Dave was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital for treatment. Credit: ITV News West Country

This involved being placed into an induced coma, so a machine was able to manage his breathing.

He said when they removed the breathing tubes and he woke up, he burst into tears.

Watch our interview with former fighter pilot Dave below:

He was then moved to the hospital’s high dependency unit, which is where he said he saw and heard things which left him shocked to the core.

The traumatic side for me was listening to doctors explaining to patients that they probably won't make it through the night. And if they want to say goodbye to their family and children, they needed to do it, on the phone, there and then.

Dave Lewins, former RAF fighter pilot

Dave’s tears are understandable - the things he saw and heard are not something anyone should be used to seeing or hearing.

Now back home, he extended his thanks to the medical teams who he credits with saving his life.

Dave served in the RAF as a fighter pilot. Credit: ITV News West Country

All the doctors, all the nurses, all the support staff, all of them, literally - were just fantastic. I can't say thank you enough.

Dave

And determined to now make the most of life following his ordeal, Dave says he intends to marry his partner Zoe - who he describes as his “rock” - as soon as possible.

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