Project engineer Warren Bennett is now recovering at home after contracting COVID-19 and being treated on Walsall Manor Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit – and he’s urging people to stick to the Government’s lockdown and social distancing rules.
Mr Bennett, a father-of-three, developed a cough and came home from work one day, went to bed at 5pm and didn’t wake until 5am the following day.
“With my job I am often working in the middle of nowhere and I got up to go to work as usual the next day but just didn’t feel well at all,” the 54-year-old said. “I just couldn’t shake it off.
“I got through the weekend but started to get worse and I spoke to NHS 111 as my temperature was high. I ended up having to call paramedics and was brought to hospital. I got worse and had to go into ICU for CPAP treatment although I can hardly remember being taken there. I put up a bit of a fight when staff were trying to get a mask on me as I was obviously ill and confused.
“But staff in the ICU were fantastic. I remember one doctor who helped take care of me from 8am until 10pm. It’s that one to one care and treatment that no-one realises goes on until you find yourself in that situation.”
Mr Bennett, who has five grandchildren, was able to leave ICU after a few days and go on to a ward. He was discharged home on Tuesday 7 April.
“I haven’t got any health conditions, I’m generally fit and healthy but I find that even trying to go upstairs leaves me feeling exhausted,” he said. “ People don’t realise how much this virus affects you. I just want to get back to normal and get back to work
“If anyone’s thinking of ignoring the lockdown and the advice from the Government they really shouldn’t. Take it from me – I won’t ever forget what’s happened to me and some of the things I’ve seen. It isn’t just the physical effects that stay with you.”