A Gloucestershire man lost five stone while in an induced coma as his body was ravaged by Covid and sepsis.
Michael Burrows, from Tewkesbury, says he knew the virus had hit him hard after he felt his lung 'pop' when in the shower in hospital.
The 35-year-old was admitted in November 2020 for a non-Covid related reason but fell ill with the virus during his stay.
Two weeks later, his health plummeted and there were doubts he would make it.
Michael said: “One of the nurses on the ward I knew from school. I called her and she did my observations and immediately sent for help. I was placed on oxygen in the hope it would help my levels, but two weeks on it still did not work and I was getting worse.“I was placed into an induced coma. I suffered a series of complications when I was under, including sepsis and Bullous lung disease. Now the top part of my left lung does not work.
“There was a point where I was told I was hours away from death. The medical teams did all they could for me with medication and looking after me.
“Somehow by the power of God, my body started to defend itself against the sepsis and Covid. Eventually, after a month I woke up.
“I woke up on Christmas day, but you are not fully awake from a coma straight away. It took a time for them to take me off the drugs and it was on January 5 I started to remember seeing anyone and speaking to my family.”
Family members and staff called Michael a Christmas miracle as he emerged alive from the battle he had fought while in the coma.
Yet it was just the start of a long journey to recovery.
He said: “I had been on a machine which breathes for you. When I woke up I had to learn how to breathe again.
“I had to learn everything again, from movement to writing and even talking. You move using muscle memory, but I had lost five stone of muscle mass when I was in hospital so I had to rebuild the muscle again.
“It started with small steps, literally. From sitting in a chair for a prolonged amount of time, and when I say that, I mean an hour. Then it was walking from my bed to the door, the door to the physio rooms.
“Eventually I was doing laps around the ward. It was February 4 before I was discharged.”
Michael had other factors to contend with from being in the induced coma.
However, he is making progress with continued help from the NHS.
He said: “I am pretty strong-headed so did not need mental rehabilitation. When you are in a coma though you are constantly dreaming. When you wake from the coma you sometimes are trying to figure out the difference between what is real and not.
“Sometimes when I am tired I get flashbacks about the situation. It was November last year I really started to feel myself again.”
Now Michael wants to thank the NHS staff for all they did for him.
He is embarking on a walk to the top of Mount Snowdon with a close family friend.
He said: “The NHS staff did not give up on me and always had a smile on their face when they came to see me and speak to my family. I speak to them regularly and they stay smiling even though they are not having a great time of it at the moment.
“The money I am raising is going to the staff. They have thrown everything they can at me so I can recover. I hope I will be able to put a smile on their face like they did for my family when I was getting better.”Michael is taking on the Mount Snowdon challenge on June 25.
He hopes to be able to raise £1,000 for the NHS staff who helped him.You can donate here