A HEALTHY 38-year-old man who feared he would die after being struck down with Covid-19 urged people to “wake up and realise the virus is real”.
After ten days of being laid up at Rotherham Hospital battling coronavirus and an infection on both lungs, survivor Zaheer Ahmed said he had seen people both recover and die.
“I saw everything on the Covid-19 ward,” he said. “There were young people on ventilators and life support, and another guy died right in front of me.
"I am a very active and healthy man and this virus completely knocked me out. I had to spend the first couple of days in hospital on oxygen.
“So much stuff goes through your mind when you’re laid up on a coronavirus ward and I started to think: ‘Is this it? Is this the end of my life right here?’
“All I wanted to do was run away from the virus but I couldn’t even get out of bed.”
Mr Ahmed, of Broom, said he had wanted to share his experience so people would understand the seriousness of Covid-19.
“This virus is very nasty, and it is here, and people only start to think about this when it has affected them or someone they love,” he said.
“I have been very conscious of Covid-19, always worn a mask and only went out when necessary, but still caught the virus.
“People need to wake up and realise this virus is real and they need to be considerate about others around them.”
The self-employed businessman developed symptoms on October 1, including a loss of taste, breathlessness, tiredness and back pain.
He attended a drive-thru test site in Doncaster the following day. Two days later he received a positive result and was admitted to hospital by ambulance after his breathing deteriorated.
In hospital, he was given 14 tablets in the morning alone — with steroids, antibiotics and IV drips administered throughout the day.
He described the virus as very unpredictable — adding: “One minute I would start to feel better, and the next I’d be completely flawed and couldn’t move.”
Mr Ahmed said he was grateful to all the hospital staff on ward A3.
“Everyone from the doctors, nurses and student nurses, to the cleaners were absolutely amazing and I cannot thank them enough,” he said.
“Despite being under so much pressure, all the staff went above and beyond. They really need the recognition for the work they do.
“I am so grateful to them as you have to remember they are literally putting their lives on the line to care for Covid-19 patients and they themselves have family they want to get back to.”
Mr Ahmed said he felt happy and relieved to be reunited with his family.
He added: “It felt really good to be able to come home after a rollercoaster journey. I’m still a little breathless now, so I am trying to take it easy.
“I will now be receiving further aftercare from BreathingSpace for the next 12 weeks but beyond that, I have no idea what long-term effects the virus will have on my health.”