Corona Virus: My Story

UK Universities

Fran Kirton

Bumping elbows instead of shaking hands, singing happy birthday at the sink, standing outside in the street dressed in costumes banging pans to clap the carers...this was all because of corona virus and yet all of these things felt pretty lighthearted; I knew why I was doing them but I certainly didn't feel it. The news showed case after case of people ending up in hospital but so often they looked much older than me. I had that classic young person attitude 'It won't happen to me'.


And then it did.


I started off with what seemed like a chest infection. I was tired, hot and had a bit of a cough. Obviously the first thing that popped into my head was corona but still I was convinced it couldn't really be. I called the GP - they prescribed me some antibitoics, assuring me it was probably an infection.


But then my temperature started to rise, the cough worsened and then that dreaded symptom, my breathing became difficult.


Day 7 things were only worsening. We were told to call the paramedics.


In a quick turn of events, I was headed for hospital. By this point I was weak, with a temperature of 39. Once admitted, I started to deteriorate and fast forward two weeks I was still there.


I was in and out of sleep a lot. My poor family were terrified, only hearing from me when I had the energy and strength to text or call. 


Corona robs you of the chance to be near the ones you love, no one can bring any home comforts to the ward, or sit next to you and hold your hand. The doctors and nurses are so busy with patients which means often your family are left with no news of how you are.


It was the worst I had ever felt; that I do remember and added to that was the sense of fear - one day I'd seem to be doing better, the next I would be worse. There was no predicting what it would do and I was constantly filled with dread that I'd end up on a ventilator.


Thankfully, three and a half weeks later I had fought the virus and was discharged. The sense of relief was overwhelming. I cried when I saw my family and have cried many times since. Life is different now; breathing isn't something I take for granted, a few steps initially had be breathless. I lost a lot of weight and am now enjoying the comfort of home cooking. The biggest thing which has changed is my attitude: I am not invincible and you, yes you reading this, I hate to break it to you but neither are you. 


The unpredictability of this virus means you just don't know how it will affect you.  So please take my story as a warning but also a sign of hope - if you or anyone you know does find yourself in a similar situation, there is every chance of pulling through, however awful it may seem at times. 

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