A young couple battling COVID-19 have been accused of being paid actors online after they warned of the dangers of the virus.
The Victorian government launched an ad campaign to highlight the risk of coronavirus, demonstrating how the disease does not discriminate based on age or health.
Sam Martin, 26, and his girlfriend Sarah Robson, who are both midwives at the Royal Women’s Hospital in the inner northern Melbourne, appeared in the ad after being rushed to hospital with the deadly virus.
The usually healthy pair, who used to enjoy 50km daily hikes, shared how the disease left them in excruciating pain and struggling to breathe.
In the heart-wrenching clip Ms Robson also opened up about her struggles having to be separated their her two young sons.
The video was aimed at encouraging others to take the virus seriously but some viewers were still skeptical – even accusing the couple of being paid actors.
Mr Martin said the couple (pictured) were both fit and healthy until they contracted the deadly illness
The couple (pictured) expect to have on-going health issues after contracting the illness. They spoke out to warn that anyone can be affected by the disease
Speaking to A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw on Monday night, Mr Martin disputed those allegations.
‘For the other people who are not doing the right thing, the people who are commenting that this isn’t real, that we are paid actors, this is very real,’ he said.
Mr Martin was alone during the interview as his partner Sarah is till battling the disease several weeks after she was first diagnosed.
He said she was still very weak, unable to or make it through a shower without passing out.
‘Sarah was quite unlucky in that she ended up with a lot more of the pain from COVID…(she) had inflammation in her lungs that was making it really painful to breathe as well as a lot of other joint pain, kidney pain,’ he said.
Mr Martin was first to develop symptoms but they were mild at first.
He just had a runny nose on a cold day but he decided to go and get tested just in case.
Sam and his partner Sarah (pictured) who are both midwives at Royal Women’s Hospital in the inner northern Melbourne, appeared in the ad after being rushed to hospital
Sarah Robson (pictured) is till battling the disease several weeks after she was first diagnosed
While waiting for he test results to come back his health deteriorated.
He spent four days with flu-like symptoms before the respiratory issues kicked in.
‘My lungs just weren’t working the way they should be, I ended up collapsing at home and that’s when I needed to be taken to hospital.’
He said being admitted to the COVID ward was ‘terrifying’. ‘There were people coughing, people gasping for air,’ he added.
Mr Martin’s (pictured) symptoms were mild at first. He just had a runny nose on a cold day but he decided to go and get tested just in case
Mr Martin has since been released from hospital and returned back to work a few days ago.
However, he said he was still suffering from some breathing issues long after he had recovered.
‘There is a lot of shortness of breath, if I try to hold a conversation for too long, you’ll notice that I try to get deep breaths in,’ he told Sunrise.
‘There are a lot of aches and pains that they’re (doctors) not really sure where they’re coming from or when they are going to resolve.’
During the interview admitted back in January he was among the deniers who thought the illness was just a flu.
The once healthy pair (pictured) shared how the disease left them in excruciating pain and unable to stand
‘I can tell you no, this is so so much worse,’ Mr Martin said.
‘We were both quite fit prior to this, and then we are both here, stuck, unable to work.’
He thanked the residents who were doing the right thing and urged those who were not to start taking it seriously.
‘No one is immune and this virus really doesn’t discriminate.
‘It doesn’t matter if you’re young, fit and healthy with no risk factors – coronavirus can still put you in hospital.’
Ms Robson (pictured) had inflammation in her lungs that was making it really painful to breathe as well as a lot of other joint pain, kidney pain