A fit and healthy 26-year-old has described how she was left “gasping for breath” in hospital as she fought off Covid-19.
Robyn O’Connor from Newtownabbey has just returned home after spending a week at the Causeway Hospital with the deadly virus, where she needed an oxygen tank in order to be able to breathe.
Speaking to Belfast Live, she said she woke two weeks ago feeling very sick with the flu and had a sore head. After a few days her condition didn’t get any better, so she booked a coronavirus test which later came back saying that she was positive.
Robyn said she was initially told to try and recover at home, but after another couple of days she found herself unable to walk without running out of breath.
She said: “I was finding it very difficult to breathe and I found that I was running out of breath just walking the length of my bed.
“It got to the point where I had a temperature of 40 degrees and after ringing the doctor, they quickly sent an ambulance out to get me. I don’t know what sort of state I could have ended up in if they didn’t do that.”
Robyn spent a week in hospital on a ward where she was given a series of different treatments and needed to use an oxygen tank in order to breathe properly.
Sadly during that time she saw two patients pass away from the virus and watched another be taken to intensive care.
Robyn said: “The covid caused me to develop pneumonia and I was admitted to hospital for a week. I spent a lot of the time gasping for breath while being given oxygen, nebulisers and steroid drips.
“Everyone else on the ward was much older than me and it was really hard seeing what they were going through. Two of them died while I was there and it was horrible to see them have to go through it without their family around them.
“Because of the ward we were on, all of the doctors and nurses were wearing full suits and although it is a bit odd, they went out of their way to care for us and try to keep our spirits up and keep us company.”
After returning home, Robyn says she is still suffering with the effects of Covid-19, as she still has a cough and gets tired very easily.
She said: “While I am at home now and finishing my course of steroids, I still have a bad cough which could stay with me for months due to the scarring on my lungs.
“Everything feels like a marathon and I am exhausted all of the time.
“But this has changed my entire outlook on life, I don’t think I have ever appreciated fresh air as much as I do now.”
Robyn is now appealing to everyone to take this virus seriously, saying that she “wouldn’t wish it on anybody”.
She said: “Everyone needs to take this virus seriously because it is not just something that effects older people, everyone is at risk. I would have thought I was a fit and healthy person with no previous health problems, but it left me in hospital needing oxygen to breathe.
“People need to really think about what they are doing and consider whether they want to enjoy their Christmas this year or still be here next year to enjoy another one.”
-- to www.belfastlive.co.uk