Cameraman from Exeter says he came 'back from the brink of death' during two-month battle with coronavirus

Credit: Devon Live

A cameraman from Exeter says he came "back from the brink of death" during a two-month battle with coronavirus.

Tim Attenburrow, 29, was finally discharged this week after two months in two different hospitals.

Credit: Devon Live

Tim became one of the most serious early Covid-19 cases at Royal Devonand Exeter Hospital (RD&E).

He initially self-isolated at home for seven days after developing a cough on March 15.

But he says his breathing "kept getting shallower and seven days after my cough started I couldn’t breathe and was gasping for breath".

“My girlfriend called 999 on March 23. Everything from that point onis a bit of a blur. I remember arriving at the RD&E feeling confusedbut relieved because the oxygen they gave me helped me breathe again.

“I was seen immediately and within hours diagnosed with Covid-19 and pneumonia.

Tim was put on a ventilator, but his health continued to decline.

He was transferred a week later to London’s Royal Brompton Hospital - the largest specialist heart and lung medical centre in the UK.

Tim, who had no underlying health conditions, returned home on Mondaymorning (18 May) and left the Exeter hospital being applauded bystaff.

Tim says many people have contacted him and he believes "it’s important for people to hear my story".

“Before this happened I was confident I’d be safe and much moreconcerned about older relatives or my girlfriend who has asthma.

“I know my case is incredibly unusual and my body responded reallybadly to this virus, but I hope it will allow people to learn moreabout this new virus and help others.

“I’ve never appreciated the NHS more than I do now. They are amazingpeople with passion you rarely see.

"The more I hear about what I went through and the life-savingdecisions that were made based on expertise and knowledge, I realisehow lucky I was.

Tim says that although he still has a long recovery ahead, he feels much better and "more motivated than ever".

"Physically and emotionally it’s really hard, but it’s much betterthan not being here at all, and I’m now just looking forward to a bitof normality and the chance to get together with my family and friendsto celebrate life.

“I hope the NHS and their staff receive all the appreciation theydeserve in the aftermath of this historic event. I want to say a hugethank you to everyone who’s supported me and mostly to all the NHSstaff.

A spokesman for the RD&E said the trust and all the staff who caredfor Tim "are delighted at his recovery, and we wish him all the verybest for the future".