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Tom Daley details his ‘terrifying’ secret Covid battle that left him fearing he ‘might die’

Tom Daley has detailed his ‘terrifying’ secret Covid-19 battle that saw him rushed to hospital and left him fearing that he ‘might die’. 

The Olympic diver, 27, who won a gold medal in the men’s synchronised 10m diving event alongside Matty Lee in Tokyo, battled the virus in January this year, but hid his ordeal from his sporting rivals. 

But Tom has now decided to open up about his health ordeal for the first time in his new book Coming Up for Air: What I Learned from Sport, which is being serialised in The Times, describing how he felt as though he’d been ‘run over by a steamroller’.

Ordeal: Tom Daley has detailed his ‘terrifying’ secret Covid-19 battle that saw him rushed to hospital and left him fearing that he ‘might die’ (pictured at the MET Gala last month)

Tom, married to Hollywood screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, 47, recalled how he quizzed his husband on whether he’d know what to do if he ‘stopped breathing’ during the night, after earlier having felt like he ‘couldn’t get enough’ oxygen into his body. 

Detailing the petrifying episode, Tom explained: ‘My lungs felt pressurised, as if they had sacks of rice around them. I needed to get to that test centre and find out. I walked there very, very slowly, diligently avoiding everyone I could.’

After returning home, the Team GB diver told how he felt as though he’d been hit ‘by a steamroller’ and felt he ‘might die’, with the star receiving his positive test result eight hours later.

Sick: The Olympic diver, 27, who won a gold medal in the men’s synchronised 10m diving event alongside Matty Lee in Tokyo, battled the virus in January this year, but hid his ordeal from his sporting rivals

Sick: The Olympic diver, 27, who won a gold medal in the men’s synchronised 10m diving event alongside Matty Lee in Tokyo, battled the virus in January this year, but hid his ordeal from his sporting rivals

What are the symptoms of Covid? 

The NHS has listed a high temperature along with a new and continuous cough as the main symptoms of the virus.

It subsequently added a loss or change to smell or taste as a symptom of the virus, following pressure from Covid campaigners.

Most people who catch Covid and show symptoms have at least one of these, according to the NHS. 

But other studies have claimed a loss of appetite, skin rashes, hives, muscle pain and diarrhoea can all be symptoms of Covid. 

The US recognises 11 symptoms, which also include a headache and runny nose. 

Around a third of people with the virus are asymptomatic and can unknowingly pass it on to others. 

Source: NHS

But when his husband began showing symptoms too, Tom grew concerned about what would happen to their son three-year-old son Robbie should they both fall ill. 

He said: ‘Lance then started feeling sick. He was terrified of Covid, due to suffering with his lungs in the past. We were really worried about what would happen if we were both ill and couldn’t look after Robbie. I started to feel better for a few days, but then my cough got worse again.’

Things got worse for the Olympic legend as he detailed later feeling as though his head had a ‘vice tightening’ around it and that his ‘oxygen levels were dropping’.

After calling 111, he was taken to hospital by ambulance where he spent 10 hours getting blood tests and x-rays and oxygen to boost his levels before finally being sent home.

Discussing what was going through his mind while in hospital, Tom said: ‘I understood how quickly things could potentially go downhill. I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator, and my time being up. I was really terrified.’

He told how three days after his hospital dash, which came seven months before his Olympic success, he began to ‘make progress’ and eventually feel better.

Tom noted that he afterwards felt an ‘overwhelming’ sense of ‘relief’ that his Covid ordeal was ‘finally over’. 

Meanwhile, Tom – who has been dubbed ‘the world’s biggest crochet influencer’ –  took to Instagram to showcase his latest colourful creation on Wednesday.

Drama: Tom has now decided to open up about his health ordeal for the first time in his new book Coming Up for Air: What I Learned from Sport, which is being serialised in The Times , describing how he felt as though he'd been 'run over by a steamroller'

Drama: Tom has now decided to open up about his health ordeal for the first time in his new book Coming Up for Air: What I Learned from Sport, which is being serialised in The Times , describing how he felt as though he’d been ‘run over by a steamroller’

Fears; Tom recalled how he quizzed his screenwriter husband Dustin Lance Black, 47, on whether he'd know what to do if he 'stopped breathing' during the night (pictured together)

Fears; Tom recalled how he quizzed his screenwriter husband Dustin Lance Black, 47, on whether he’d know what to do if he ‘stopped breathing’ during the night (pictured together)

The Olympic gold-winning diver flashed his impressively toned torso through an open patchwork jumper he’d made himself, in a bid to recreate the famous knitted JW Anderson jumper Harry Styles wore last year. 

The sportsman could be seen flashing a peace sign as he took a picture of himself in the mirror on his phone. 

His rippling eight-pack could be seen as he wore the multi-coloured item of clothing.

Concerns: But when his husband began showing symptoms too, Tom grew concerned about what would happen to their son three-year-old son Robbie should they both fall ill

Concerns: But when his husband began showing symptoms too, Tom grew concerned about what would happen to their son three-year-old son Robbie should they both fall ill

'I was terrified': 'I understood how quickly things could potentially go downhill. I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator, and my time being up'

‘I was terrified’: ‘I understood how quickly things could potentially go downhill. I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator, and my time being up’

The Splash! star teamed his top with a pair of smart black suit trousers, captioning the image: ‘PATCHWORK REALNESS. 

‘@madewithlovebytomdaley Finally finished knitting this bad boy! It’s the @jw_anderson patchwork cardigan, as worn by @harrystyles. What do you think?’ 

Former One Direction star Harry Styles, 27, wore the original £1,161 JW Anderson knitted garment at a rehearsal for US broadcaster NBC’s Today show in February last year.

Talented: Tom took to Instagram on Wednesday to show a patchwork jumper he'd made, in a bid to recreate the famous knitted JW Anderson jumper Harry Styles wore last year

Talented: Tom took to Instagram on Wednesday to show a patchwork jumper he’d made, in a bid to recreate the famous knitted JW Anderson jumper Harry Styles wore last year

Craze: The patchwork cardigan worn by Harry (pictured) captured the imagination of his fans, with thousands attempting to create their own versions on social media

Craze: The patchwork cardigan worn by Harry (pictured) captured the imagination of his fans, with thousands attempting to create their own versions on social media

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