Coronavirus survivor urges others not to 'soldier on'

Stewart BoyleImage source, Stewart Boyle
Image caption,
Stewart Boyle spent a day in intensive care but was able to take a selfie when he heard he was being discharged

A man who ended up in intensive care with coronavirus has pleaded with others - particularly men - not to "soldier on" if they are seriously ill.

Stewart Boyle, from Sussex, had been ill for about 10 days when his wife and daughters called NHS 111.

The 64-year-old was in an ambulance in an hour and made it to hospital "in the nick of time".

He is now recuperating at home but said there were a few hours when it was "touch and go".

Mr Boyle, who lives near Lewes, said he was one of 15 people who caught the virus at a community choir, even though they kept their distance. Within three days they all had symptoms.

He had been in good health and said his illness was like normal flu for the first five or six days, before he was overwhelmed with a "deep fatigue" and his lungs were unable to cope.

Image source, Stewart Boyle
Image caption,
Mr Boyle said NHS staff were "absolutely fantastic"

He said after 10 days he was too ill decide what he should do but his family could hear his shortness of breath.

In respiratory intensive care at hospital in Haywards Heath, Mr Boyle was given treatment including oxygen and antibiotics by "absolutely fantastic" staff.

But he added: "There were certainly three or four hours when it was touch and go."

What do I need to know about the coronavirus?

Mr Boyle said he wanted to tell other people - particularly men - not to "soldier on".

He said: "There's a certain point where, if it's not going away, and for me it was day 10, you need to ask for help.

"You can't do it on your own. You do need help. You do need to shout.

"With NHS 111, you'll get an assessment pretty quickly and if it's serious they'll help you. If it's not, that's fine, but just don't soldier on."

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