A man who almost died from coronavirus at the Royal United Hospital in Bath has told people who think the virus is just like the flu or even a hoax to "grow up".
Mike Hemming, 53, from Melksham, ended up in hospital after testing positive for the virus.
He was rushed straight to A&E and 24 hours later was placed on the high dependency respiratory unit after being told he had blood clots on his lungs, pneumonia and coronavirus.
While in hospital, a doctor told him he may not survive the virus. Mr Hemming said: "He looked straight at me and told me that we were now in the throes of my end of life care. If things didn’t improve for me very rapidly, I was going to die."
Mr Hemming, who has no underlying health conditions, praised the "amazing" hospital staff who cared for him and do "heartbreaking" work.
He said: "Please don’t disrespect them by belittling what they are doing, they are just as frightened of catching this as anyone and they are putting themselves in harm’s way every day."
Mr Hemming also hit out at those who have wrongly claimed the virus is a "government conspiracy".
He said: "If you think covid doesn’t exist, is just the flu, or some sort of government conspiracy, grow up.
"Really try to imagine how you would have felt if one of your loved ones was going through what I have been through.
"The reality is that I nearly died in a hospital bed on my own. No family, no friends and no visitors."
Having been discharged from the Royal United Hospital, Mr Hemming is now recovering at home.