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Family’s ‘incredibly lucky’ recovery from Covid-19

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FROME Times photographer, David Chedgy, has spoken of his family’s battle after contracting Covid-19.

David said. “My wife, Davina, and I spent a very enjoyable day at my daughter’s wedding in Wales on 12th December.  However, on 16th December, my daughter rang with the disturbing news that one of the wedding guests had tested positive for Covid-19. 

“The next two weeks were pandemonium, with my daughter testing positive, frequent home oxygen tests taken, Covid-19 symptoms increasingly experienced and our taking Covid-19 tests in Frome on 17th December, following which Davina tested positive.

“I took a second test in Frome on Christmas Eve.  On Boxing Day, my results came back – positive.  My symptoms substantially worsened, although my oxygen levels stayed at an acceptable 96/98.  Then, on 28th December, Davina had to ring 111 for assistance for herself as she was struggling with heart pains and breathing.  An ambulance was sent and the paramedics were both excellent and reassuring, but decided that she did not need hospitalisation. 

“Two hours later, I checked my oxygen level; to my dismay, the monitor started bleeping and showing that it had dropped to 88. Davina decided to ring 999. Within 30 minutes, a different paramedic crew were checking me out.  I was put on an oxygen supply and informed that I needed to be in hospital immediately.  At the RUH in Bath we queued for 40 minutes, with another six ambulances waiting for a bed.

“Once admitted to A&E, I was comprehensively assessed, tested for Covid-19 again and was asked if I wanted to be resuscitated should I deteriorate.  I was then moved to the Waterhouse Ward and  sent for a Cat Scan, to check out my chest, but thankfully I did not need to be admitted to the respiratory ward which might have involved more invasive treatment.

“The hospital staff in Waterhouse Ward were utterly amazing, working tirelessly with the utmost professionalism and dedication, monitoring me and checking my blood pressure, temperature and oxygen levels several times a day.  

“I have taken some photographs of them in action, which illustrate the environment they have to work in, and PPE they have to wear for their 12-hour shifts.  

“I must thank them all for the dedicated and magnificent care that I have received.  It has been very humbling.  They are exhausted, working long hours in extremely difficult conditions, and need all our help in keeping the admissions as low as possible.

“Initially, my exhaustion was utterly unbelievable; just doing the simplest things totally wiped me out and I couldn’t talk for more than about two minutes without getting totally breathless.  I don’t mind admitting that I was scared and very worried that I hadn’t updated my will and as to how I would get my finances in order should I deteriorate further. Being 65, overweight, with high blood pressure and bordering on type 2 diabetes, I have always been concerned about catching the virus.  

“Thankfully, over the following days my oxygen levels fluctuated, then slowly improved and I started to feel slightly better.  On 5th January, my supplemental oxygen input rate was substantially reduced, enabling me to come home on 7th January as my oxygen levels were holding steady at 95/96.

“To anyone who thinks that Covid-19 doesn’t exist, and is a hoax, think again!  It’s here, it’s not going away any time soon and it’s infecting younger patients.  Don’t take any unnecessary risks, do protect yourselves and do wear a mask when out, if not to protect you, to protect others.

“Both Davina and I have been incredibly lucky and, though still tired and having to take it easy, are now making a good recovery from Covid-19.  I genuinely feel that I am lucky to have survived this; some people haven’t and won’t be going home to their loved ones. 

“Bring on the vaccines!”

Pictured: David  using both an oxygen line and a nebulizer to improve his breathing.

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