Just a week ago 22-year-old Richard Gaunt was on oxygen in Walsall Manor Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit after contracting COVID-19 – today he’s looking forward to going home.
Richard, a keen Walsall Football Club fan, had been feeling unwell for about a week with flu-like symptoms and started to develop a fever.
His wife Amelia became extremely concerned about him as his lips were a bluish colour and after consulting NHS111 the advice was for him to get to hospital as soon as possible.
“I was in A&E and having tests, thinking I was going on to a ward but my oxygen levels were really low and they said I needed to go to the Intensive Care Unit,” said Richard who works in administration at the University of Wolverhampton.
“That was really daunting because you know things are serious when you’re going into ICU and I was scared. But the staff were so good. They explained everything that was going on. They could tell by my face if I didn’t understand something and they explained it in a different way until I did understand. And they work so hard.”
While he was in ICU staff turned Richard’s bed to the window and his wife was able to stand outside to see him.
“It makes such a difference – it really lifted my spirits.”
Richard spent a few days in ICU and was then able to go on to Ward 29 where he has continued to receive excellent care.
“I’ve got no idea how I picked this up because my wife and I were staying in at home and had been following the guidance but I guess there’s still a lot of unknowns about this virus. I am fit and healthy usually, rushing around but I’ve never felt so ill. It has been such a worry for my family too.”
He’s leaving hospital today and is looking forward to “chilling” with 23-year-old Amelia, who is studying for a Masters degree.
“I just want to get everything back to normal, get back to rushing around and the football.”