A fit and healthy 39-year-old man has praised hospital workers and his fiancee for saving his life after he was struck down with Covid-19.

Richard Jones didn’t think that the symptoms he was experiencing were serious and brushed them off.

But over the next week, the symptoms that the thought were because of sunstroke, began to intensify and Richard started to lose weight and suffered from coughing fits where he was coughing up blood.

Richard said: “Within a few days it quickly got much worse and I began coughing up phlegm and blood. My fiancée Vicky was very concerned but I genuinely thought I was okay and had picked up a normal virus. I had lost a lot of weight due to lack of appetite and also my complexion became very pale. At one point Vicky also noted my lips had a blue outline – which we now know is a sign of lack of oxygen.”

His fiancée Vicky was not convinced that her husband-to-be was ok and phoned NHS direct on 111 who advised them to go to the hospital immediately. Richard later said that Vicky’s call to the medical team is likely to have saved his life.

The pair went to Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli where Richard tested positive for Covid-19.

Richard says that NHS staff and support from his family got him through his time in hospital
(Image: Hywel Dda)

“On arrival at the hospital, my blood pressure and heart rate were both worryingly high which is indicative of an infection. My oxygen level had also dropped to 89, I believe anything under 93 is considered a concern and my x-ray was later described as like looking at shattered glass.”

“Following all test results it was concluded I had secondary severe pneumonia as a result of Covid-19. It was very serious and at one point it was considered putting me in ICU to assist with my breathing,” added Mr Jones.

Richard, who works as a Superyacht Electrical Technical Officer, was in hospital for 11 days where he was treated with an IV drip, antibiotics, oxygen to help with his breathing and physiotherapy support to help with his coughing pains.

Although his time in hospital was terrifying, Richard said that the care he received from medical staff including lung consultant Keir Lewis as well as support from his family helped him through the ordeal.

He added: “Even though they were head to toe in full PPE each time I met them, I remembered their voices and how supporting and encouraging they were each time I met them. They made a very difficult time more manageable by being normal at a time for me that was abnormal.”

But throughout his time at hospital, Richard wasn’t the only one who suffered as it was also difficult for his loved ones who were not able to visit him, his fiancée Vicky said: “I just wanted to give him a cwtch and tell him everything would be okay. We utilised technology as much as possible to see each other virtually and were so happy when he was finally able to come home.

“We as a family are extremely grateful to all the staff at PPH for the help they provided during Richard’s time in hospital and the support he has received since, from the bottom of our hearts thank you.”

Fortunately, Richard recovered from the virus four weeks ago and says that his strength and mobility have both improved since, but his chest only feels 50% back to normal.

“Please don’t be afraid to get your symptoms checked at the earliest opportunity,” he added.

“Covid does not discriminate against anyone. I was young, fit and healthy and could have died had it not been for my fiancée not accepting when I told her I was ‘okay’ and also the amazing skills of the medical team at Prince Philip Hospital.”


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