Coronavirus: Survivors say they want to share message of hope

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image source, Annan family
image captionJules Annan was treated at Cheltenham General Hospital

Two men who became friends after recovering from coronavirus say they want their stories to give hope to others.

Jules Annan, 55, and Dave Lewins, 60, met after they were both treated at Cheltenham General Hospital.

Mr Lewins was put into an induced coma and Mr Annan said he went through a "very scary time".

The men say they want to give comfort to people who are watching their loved ones suffer.

Mr Annan said he was afraid when the virus took hold.

"My lungs basically gave up - it came on very, very suddenly I could hardly breathe. It was a very scary time," he said.

image captionDave Lewins said he was staggered how hard the virus hit him

Despite his fear, Mr Annan came out of hospital last week wanting to spread a positive message and has set up a Facebook page called "I Beat coronavirus".

"People I don't know, all around the world, have sent me messages saying thank you for putting this out there," he said.

"There's so much negativity out there - all the statistics - why don't they put the survival statistics out there? I think that's much more important."

image source, Annan family
image captionMr Annan was treated in intensive care

Mr Lewins, who was treated in intensive care, met Mr Annan as the pair were on a recovery ward.

"We were only actually in the ward for a day-and-a-half together and we got separated but he's such a positive guy," said Mr Lewins.

Mr Lewins was put into an induced coma and treated with a ventilator.

"I considered myself fairly fit and I was staggered how hard it hit me, how quickly and devastatingly it did," he said.

Released from hospital two weeks ago, he said the relief of realising his condition was improving was "phenomenally emotional".

"I've also been incredibly encouraged by the fact that I've pulled out of it and turned a corner very quickly.

"People have got to think positively and listen to their bodies and keep moving forwards."

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