Coronavirus: Cancer patient survives Covid-19 'double whammy'

Christine Fildes Image copyright Christine Fildes
Image caption Christine Fildes, 67, with her husband Alan, said she was "totally distraught" to be diagnosed with Covid-19 after surviving cancer

A cancer patient who fell ill with coronavirus weeks after finishing chemotherapy said the diagnosis was a "double whammy".

Christine Fildes, 67, from Prestwich was rushed to hospital in March where she tested positive for Covid-19.

Earlier that month, the mother-of-two had just completed her final two rounds of treatment for ovarian cancer.

"I kept thinking to myself, 'I've survived cancer, I'm not going to have a virus carry me off'," she said.

After five days on intravenous antibiotics at Salford Royal Hospital, Mrs Fildes started to improve and has since returned home.

"I feel blessed to have come through the other side," she said.

She will now feature in a new TV advert for Cancer Research UK, where she is shown watering her plants in her garden, in a bid to help raise money for the charity.

Image copyright Christine Fildes
Image caption Mrs Fildes said she was 'just starting to feel better' after her final chemotherapy treatment

The 67-year-old was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in September 2019 and had four rounds of chemotherapy before Christmas.

After having surgery in January, she had the two final rounds of chemotherapy and was "just starting to feel better" when she fell ill with a high temperature.

When she fainted at home, she was rushed to Salford Royal with sepsis and pneumonia and placed in isolation.

When doctors arrived in full PPE and told her she had Covid-19, Mrs Fildes said she felt "totally distraught".

"I was a bit of double whammy to be honest," she said. "To go through all the cancer treatment and all the stress, and to get hit with this - it was an absolute bummer".

At one point, doctors feared she may need to go on a ventilator but discussed with her that she might not be a good candidate.

Image copyright Christine Fildes
Image caption Christine Fildes before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2019

"It was only later I realised that they were weighing up the pros and cons of whether it was worth me having that treatment with being a cancer patient."

She added: "It's great to be back home and pottering round the garden.

"I have been out, fully masked up, but I'm just desperate to get dressed up and go for a meal and a drink - I've bought four pairs of new shoes!"

Mrs Fildes said being involved in the advert had been a "real tonic".

"I wanted to do something to help," she said. "It upsets me to think about research being held up and what this might mean for people affected by cancer in the months and years to come."

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