Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
By Kevin Fitzpatrick
Political reporter, BBC Radio Manchester
Local Democracy Reporting Service
A Tameside councillor who came close to death after contracting Covid-19 has spoken of how the virus "found that chink in my defence and it accelerated".Copyright: LDRS
In the days before he was rushed to hospital with pneumonia brought on by the virus, Dave Sweeton said he "did feel I was coming down with something... but never in a million years did I think it was coronavirus".
After his health deteriorated rapidly, he was rushed from his home in Dukenfield by ambulance to Tameside Hospital and after two tests and an X-ray, it was confirmed the 56-year-old had coronavirus.
He spent the next eight days in hospital, being treated on the high dependency unit and relying on an oxygen mask.
He said his asthma, which he was diagnosed with 15 years ago, was “working against me, closing all the airways so for the first 36 hours, they were pumping oxygen in me and all sorts of drugs,” he said, adding:Quote Message: When I was at my worst I was taking 15 bars of oxygen, and that’s massive.Quote Message: I had come into contact with someone that had coronavirus, unbeknownst to me, and it found that chink in my defence and it accelerated. I could hear the doctors coming round and they were very concerned, it was frightening.
He said those that cared for him were "absolutely incredible" and that the "nurses, cleaners, ward sisters, the doctors – they were working well beyond their shifts, it was 13 and 14 hours before they would go home”.
He added that despite the care, he had come close to dying.Quote Message: To have it in such black and white terms, if I hadn’t gone to hospital when I did, eight hours later, I’d have been dead. If the drugs hadn’t worked, I’d have been dead.Quote Message: It made me very very emotional, every morning I woke up, I felt so lucky to be alive.
Mr Sweeton left hospital last Wednesday, having lost more than a stone in weight, and is now recovering at home.
He said he would now "take every day as it comes".