Thank you to local man Anthony Seery for sharing his COVID-19 with us.
Anthony Seery – ‘My COVID-19 story’
Anthony: Hello, my name is Anthony Seery, I’m a HGV transporter driver from Billingham.
Title card: Tell us about when you first fell ill with COVID-19.
Anthony: I’d been furloughed from work in about a week and I started to feel ill with a cough and cold, basically with a rattly chest, not a dry continuous cough as was described. And I was just tired and I wanted to sleep constantly.
Title card: Tell us about being admitted into hospital.
Anthony: Well I didn’t know too much about it. My wife had phoned up and the paramedics turned up at the house and my oxygen sats were below 40 per cent at the time which I didn’t know.
But, to be honest, I didn’t struggle to breathe at the time. And then I was admitted to hospital.
Then obviously the scary part was I said goodbye to the wife and I went away on my own and I was on my own basically after that.
Title card: What happened in A&E?
Anthony: I was admitted into A&E. A team of doctors gave me masks tried to build my oxygen levels up and there’s a bit of panic going on and I don’t realise anything after that.
I woke up three and a half weeks later.
Title card: What was it like when you woke up?
Anthony: It was a bit surreal when I woke up because I didn’t know where I was or why I was there and I just had pipes and wires and things all over me.
I was just watching nurses. And I couldn’t speak.
I had a tracking tube in. So I didn’t really know what was going on.
Title card: What was your recovery like?
Anthony: Recovery was hard. I couldn’t walk when I came out of hospital. And I had a frame and a stick.
I couldn’t walk and I lost three and a half stones in weight and muscle mass.
It was difficult. The weather was warm so it was hard going and I was tired constantly.
Title card: What was the impact on your family?
Anthony: It’s devastating for my family, obviously my wife just had to sit in the house and wait for the phone to ring with an update as to what was happening and not knowing whether she was gonna get the bad news.
Twice she was told I wasn’t gonna make it and did she want to come and say goodbye to me in that period.
And it was only the day I got my tracking tube took out and I could speak. Then I phoned my wife.
She explained I’d been in a coma for three and a half weeks which I didn’t know anything about.
Title card: What would you say to those across Teesside who aren’t taking the threat seriously enough?
Anthony: Well, I would say it is serious and just because you can’t see something it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. And people might be okay and have no symptoms but can pass it to a relative – an auntie, an uncle, a grandma or granddad who will then become ill with it.
Title card: And finally, how are you feeling now?
Anthony: I’m feeling good. I’ve been back at work five weeks so I’m doing good.
Title card: Thank you for sharing your story with us Anthony.
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