Coronavirus survivors urge people to take the disease seriously

Coronavirus survivors pensioner Margaret Barrow, taxi driver Hussain Vorajee, farmer Mike Wright and mother Becky Davies. Credit: ITV West Country / Royal United Hospital

"I've never ever felt so ill and felt so close that I wasn't going to make it." - Margaret Barrow

"People don't understand that this disease is deadly." - Hussain Vorajee

"You find yourself coming to terms with the possibility that you might not make it." - Mike Wright

“I still feel a shortness of breath even now – just walking up the stairs has an effect." - Becky Davies

Four coronavirus survivors from across the West Country, two of whom came close to dying, have shared their experiences in the hope that people will take it seriously and stay safe.

The are urging people to observe the hands, face, space rules and stay at home to save lives.

70-year-old Margaret Barrow is back home after spending a month in the Bristol Royal Infirmary fighting for her life. Credit: ITV West Country

70 year old Margaret Barrow from Knowle in Bristol is back at home recovering from coronavirus - after spending a month in hospital fighting for her life.

Doctors say it will be months before she returns to full strength.

Margaret spoke to ITV News before Christmas from the respiratory ward at the BRI - where she revealed the reality of this virus

Speaking in December, Margaret Barrow said, "I can honestly say I've never ever felt so ill and felt so close that I wasn't going to make it."

Sharing the moment staff told her she needed to go onto a ventilator, she says: "They said 'Of course, if you go on a ventilator, there's a chance you could crash or a chance you could go into cardiac arrest'.

"I said, 'I have a golden husband at home, two beautiful sons and two gorgeous granddaughters.' I said, 'You thump as hard as you like because, if I'm there, I'm coming back."

She wanted to pay tribute to all those who saved her life and says, "They were angels, not nurses."

71-year-old farmer Mike Wright nearly died from Covid-19. Credit: Royal United Hospital

Mike Wright, a 71-year-old farmer who lives just outside Bath, became so ill with coronavirus, he was admitted to intensive care at the Royal United Hospital. He thought he had a cold at first but the disease quickly progressed.

He said, “I was first admitted to a ward and then to intensive care, where I spent eight days on oxygen. My first two days were really difficult I felt so ill. I was unable to eat much and had to force liquids down."

Mike also praised the RUH staff, who he says treated him with care and compassion at all times.

He said he is recovering well, although his breathing is still affected, and urges everyone to abide by Government guidelines.

Mike Wright said, “For those people that don’t feel they need to follow the guidelines, let me say that this bug is very random. I was a healthy farmer that would have never expected anything to have taken me out like Covid did.“So please follow the guidelines, and save the life of someone you love.”

Wife and mother Becky Davies fell ill with the virus late last year and is still suffering from a shortness of breath. Credit: Royal United Hospital

Mike's daughter, Becky Davies, also contracted coronavirus, although she was not so badly affected. The 36-year-old says she still has shortness of breath now.Becky said: “The worst part for me and my husband was the extreme fatigue and aching all over. The symptoms lasted for 10 days and the fatigue lasted for a good few weeks afterwards.She added: “I would say please take Covid seriously - it affects everyone so differently and unfortunately you may not be the lucky one. I was very lucky and so was my husband and son.

“Please don’t take this virus lightly. Follow the guidance and stay safe.”

Taxi driver Hussain Vorajee from Gloucester was bed bound for weeks with coronavirus. Credit: Hussain Vorajee

Hussain Vorajee runs his own taxi business in Gloucester. Despite having protector screens fitted and taking a number of safety precautions, he tested positive for Covid-19 just before Christmas.

He said, "After about two weeks I started to feel better but I think the after-effects are quite a big issue.

"I still struggle with breathing and there are other internal issues that I'm suffering from at the moment".

Hussain is still recovering at home after being left bed bound. He believes too many people are not taking the pandemic seriously enough.

Hussain says, "People don't understand that this disease is deadly. It's affected so many people in Gloucester. It's affected so many people across the country."

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