'I thought I was having a heart attack' - ex-Dungannon Swifts manager Fay on his Coronavirus ordeal

Harry Fay
Harry Fay praised the treatment and attention he received in Craigavon Area Hospital

Former Dungannon Swifts manager Harry Fay has explained how he thought he was "having a heart attack" before being admitted to hospital last week suffering from coronavirus symptoms.

The 57-year-old was treated for three days in Craigavon Area Hospital before being released on Sunday.

"The chest pain became excruciating, really unbearable," said Fay.

"After I was diagnosed the doctor explained the virus had attacked the muscles in my chest wall," he added.

The ex-Newry City player, who has also been on the coaching staff at Cliftonville and Warrenpoint Town, is now self-isolating at home as he continues his recovery.

'You could see the tears in their eyes'

"It has been a bit of a whirlwind since last Wednesday. I went to work as normal but by the afternoon I felt pretty poorly - I didn't feel well at all," Fay told BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster programme.

"I started to take the shivers, went to bed and later rang 111. They told me I needed to go into self-isolation and to ring back if my symptoms got any worse.

"The next day I felt a real tightness in my chest and I woke in the middle of the night with a fever. I've never seen as much sweat in the bed in my life. It was eerie, unbelievable.

"The pain got worse so my wife rang 999 and the ambulance was there in 10 to 15 minutes. I was thinking it was a heart attack but they did all the tests and gave me morphine.

"My wife and my daughter weren't allowed to come with me because I was in self-isolation by this stage. You could see the tears in their eyes and I didn't know what was happening or what was ahead of me."

'One of those moments when time stands still'

After being taken to Accident and Emergency, the former Irish League player was subsequently admitted to hospital and recalls the moment he was told he had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

"I remember waking up in this isolation ward and a doctor came in to see me to tell me I had tested positive. It was one of those moments when time stands still.

"She explained that the virus attacking the muscles in my chest wall had caused the chest pain," added Fay, who was fulsome in his praise of all the medical care he received during his ordeal.

"From the ambulance personnel right through to all the medical professionals they were all really helpful and professional. They couldn't have done more for me.

"They were very attentive, in and out to see how I was on a constant basis, but I do worry now what is coming behind. That really worries me. They were able to cope but there seems to be a massive tide coming our direction.

"This could happen to any of our loved ones and some already haven't been as fortunate as me, were maybe not as fit as me."