Two men who have survived the coronavirus infection and spent time on intensive care wards have shared their experience of fighting the disease as Boris Johnson battles the killer infection in hospital.
Matt Dockray, 39, described the illness as ‘the most horrible experience you will go through,’ when he appeared on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday.
The father-of-one said: ‘It’s a horrible, horrible experience. You’re very lonely. You don’t have any friends or family there so you don’t have that emotional, personal support you rely on in your hardest times.’
Choosing to offer a message of hope, father-of-two Andrew Hodge said: ‘I want people to realise they can survive this’.
Andrew Hodge, 54, from Laleham, near Staines, who has recovered from coronavirus, celebrating his birthday back home on April 3
Mr Hodge, an electrical engineer who spent six days in intensive care, said: ‘I don’t want to dilute the seriousness of it, but I want people to realise they can survive this.
‘There is so much negative communication about how many people have died, as opposed to how many have survived.”
He praised the treatment and care he received during 10 days at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, describing the team there as ‘phenomenal and attentive’.
Mr Hodge, husband to Dawn and father to Isabella, 17, and Genevieve, 11, also paid tribute to one nurse on Aspen ward at the hospital who simply held his hand for a while, the trust said.
The team at St Peter’s are ‘delighted’ to see Mr Hodge recovering so well back at home, and wish him all the best, the trust added.
Boris Johnson was rushed to intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Monday, he was last seen in public on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street during the nationwide clap for the NHS
Matt Dockray spent a week in intensive care fighting the coronavirus infection. He said his time in hospital was a ‘horrible, horrible experience’
His comments came after Michael Gove revealed Boris Johnson had received oxygen support but had not yet been placed on a ventilator.
Mark Dockray, from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, told Good Morning Britain about the kind of treatment he received while in the ICU for a week.
He said: ‘The main thing is getting oxygen in your system, I’m assuming Boris is at that stage now, they register your oxygen levels and they start getting critically low so they’ve got to get as much oxygen in you as possible.
‘They start with a regular mask, then they try all sorts of different contraptions and ways to get 100% of oxygen into you.’
Now recovering at home, Mr Dockray spent a week in an isolated room, where he said he saw patients of all ages being admitted.
He admitted he had dark moments as he struggled to overcome the life threatening virus, saying: ‘There was a point where you sort of started to lose hope and thought that was it, because you’ve seen this on the TV, you’ve seen the pictures of Italy.
‘In my head that was the time to say “You’ve just got to fight as much as you can,”
He added: ‘To go from that extreme a couple of weeks ago, ICU for a week and come out breathing, talking is a testament you can get to that point.
‘There’s people who have been on those ventilators for a lot longer and they’ve come out and lived to tell the tale.There’s quite a few of us getting clapped out of the hospital that prove you can get back to normal.
‘There’s still a long road of recovery, it takes about six to eight weeks, but you can sit here and tell the tale and fight this.’
When he arrived back at his Marlow home, Mr Dockray said there were ‘a lot of tears and emotions’ as he hugged his wife and child, while celebrity chef Tom Kerridge sent him a special gift package to help him get on the mend.