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Coronavirus: West Country survivors share heartfelt messages of thanks for life-saving NHS

We asked some of our local Covid-19 survivors to share their messages of hope and appreciation. Credit: ITV West Country

West Country coronavirus survivors have shared their heartfelt messages of thanks to the life-saving NHS as they recover from the virus.

After allowing ITV West Country to follow their frightening experiences of Covid-19, we asked our local survivors to update us on their progress.

As you might be able to guess, every single one of them emotionally thanked the NHS for saving their lives.

WATCH: West Country coronavirus survivors thank life-saving NHS

Coronavirus: Some of our West Country survivors

Jess shared this photo with her social media followers of the moment she was able to see her children again. Credit: Jess Marchbank

Jess Marchbank - treated at North Devon District Hospital

Jess had no underlying health conditions when she contracted coronavirus and was one of the first patients to be treated for it at North Devon District Hospital.

The 32-year-old mother-of-two told ITV West Country how the virus “came on in an instant” and left her in agonising pain.

Although not yet fully recovered, Jess is back at home and able to spend quality time with her husband and children. She described the care she received from the NHS as “second to none”.

Exmouth's town crier, Roger, was admitted to intensive care with coronavirus. Credit: ITV West Country

Roger Bourgein - treated at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital

Exmouth’s town crier, Roger, spoke to us from inside the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital - where he was treated for the virus.

At his worst Roger was in the intensive care unit and unable to eat, drink, or see family members.

Even when talking to us from hospital, though, he was upbeat and optimistic.

He said: “It’s a funny old virus you know. It sneaks itself around your body. I was just very ill and I’m not very ill now. Which is amazing.”

Clare left Bath's Royal United Hospital next to her husband and NHS nurse, Kamilla. Credit: Steve Hill

Clare Hill - treated at Royal United Hospital, Bath

Clare was left fighting for her life in the intensive care unit at Bath's Royal United Hospital after she fell critically ill with the virus.

Her husband, Steve, warned ITV West Country viewers of the “stark reality” of the illness and claimed her supermarket employer failed to provide staff with adequate protection.

Now Clare is back with her husband, who says she is testament to the fact there are “nice stories to come out of all of this, as well as all the bad ones.”

Dave has spoken openly about how his experience in hospital has affected him. Credit: ITV West Country

Dave Lewins - treated at Cheltenham General Hospital

Former RAF fighter pilot Dave was also admitted to an intensive care unit after falling ill with coronavirus.

In an incredibly emotional interview with us after being discharged from Cheltenham General Hospital, he said he was emotionally traumatised from the experience.

He said: “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.”

Now, Dave says, he is “on the mend and looking forward to a full recovery."

Alan is still recovering from Covid-19 in hospital. Credit: ITV West Country

Alan Rowe - Treated at Royal Cornwall Hospital

Alan is still in hospital recovering from the virus but wanted to tell viewers how grateful he is for the NHS.

He described his experience in the Royal Cornwall Hospital as an “emotional rollercoaster” but delivered a message of hope to viewers.

In it, he said: "Stick at it. It'll be alright."

Alan shared this photo of when he was leaving intensive care at Royal Cornwall Hospital. Credit: Alan Nicholls

Alan Nicholls - treated at Royal Cornwall Hospital

Alan was also treated for Covid-19 at Royal Cornwall Hospital, after suffering from coronavirus at home for more than a week.

He shared his story with people to remind them of the importance of social distancing and the need to stay at home.

In his simple but powerful message to the NHS he said: "Without you, I probably wouldn't be here."

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