‘I was distancing from my little girl, despite wanting to cuddle her’ - nurse tells his story after recovering from coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 16:44 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:44 21 May 2020
When COVID-19 struck, it was clear what nurse Sam Jude had to do in his bid to get back helping his colleagues once again.
“One night I really struggled. It got so bad I thought I was going to need an ambulance,” Sam, who is a clinical nurse educator at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn (QEH), said on dealing with coronavirus.
After testing positive for the virus, Sam booked himself in for a swab at the hospital’s on-site swabbing centre after he began to show symptoms. Sam’s wife also works at QEH, with them and their family sent home to isolate.
“My symptoms started with a persistent cough. I usually get coughs as part of seasonal changes or chronic tonsillitis, but it was important to still get tested to be sure. I then started spiking temperatures,” he said.
“The swabbing experience was quick and less worrying than I had thought. The swab sample was taken quite deep into my nose and the back of the throat. It was all done in less than ten minutes.”
Acute shortness of breath, losing taste and smell and high temperatures soon arrived for Sam, who was off work for two weeks and admitted he had never felt this ill before.
“By the end of the first week, I was started on antibiotics by my GP. By the end of the two weeks, I was glad to be back to feeling myself,” he said.
“I’ve never been this poorly before. I was confined to my room and distancing myself from my little girl, despite wanting to see her and cuddle her.
“Small everyday tasks became more and more difficult, such as climbing the stairs. “To add to all of this, COVID added to my struggles with anxiety.”
This anxiety developed after hearing the news his close friend was put on an ECMO machine, an artificial lung to help oxygenate the blood, but there were signs of hope for Sam.
“My wife made me some honey, lemon and ginger tea and I took some steam inhalation and used vapour rub. My family and I prayed all night and I got through it,” he said.
His symptoms began to improve and the support from friends and family is something he could not be more grateful for as he was able to look forward to helping others once more.
“It was so hard being off work and leaving the ward,” Sam said.
“I kept thinking of my team. But, I knew that I needed to completely recover so that I could get back to my shifts.
“My wife, family in India, friends in the UK and especially my church were a huge support to me. They were constantly praying and sending me positivity. I am really grateful for everyone around me.”
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