A 20-year-old from Leicestershire is urging young people to take the threat of coronavirus more seriously after the condition left him suffering from ‘brutal pain’.
Josh Tew started to experience symptoms of Covid-19 in late September after he started university.
He said he had been “super” cautious throughout the pandemic- wearing his mask when appropriate and constantly sanitising and washing his hands.
But he admitted that he was “almost in denial” that he would become just as ill as he did, because he had heard younger people are generally not as badly affected by the virus as others.
Several days into his isolation, Josh was struggling to get out of bed but while he was at university, but was unable to get a test until the tenth day of his isolation, which came back positive on October 5.
“I felt awful – it was just horrible,” he told LeicestershireLive.
Three days later, his symptoms worsened and he called 111, the NHS helpline. He was told to go to Loughborough Urgent Care Centre where he was then sent to A&E at the Royal Infirmary.
After being assessed, Josh, who had no underlying health conditions, was admitted to Glenfield Hospital and taken to the Covid ward where he said he “didn’t get much sleep”.
Unable to have visits from family and friends, Josh said it was phone calls and video calls that “kept [him] going”.
Although they were unable to see him, He said his “supportive” friends left food for him at the hospital reception.
Josh has previously struggled with his mental health and said having Covid-19 exacerbated the problem.
“Covid in general, just the whole situation, pushed my mental health issues over the edge. I was having panic attacks in the hospital,” he said.
The student was then given on oxygen to help him breathe but said he could still feel a terrible pain on the left side of his chest.
“The pain was brutal,” he said.
His doctor arranged a scan which revealed Josh that had pneumonia caused by a chest infection and had blood clots on his lungs.
“I honestly didn’t think I would get so bad. I had no underlying health conditions and I knew of other people my age who only lost their sense of smell and taste.
“I think people my age should definitely take this more seriously,” he said.
The 20-year-old was put on antibiotics to treat the infection alongside steroids to ease symptoms of Covid-19.
At his worst, Josh said he could barely get himself out of bed to walk to the toilet while he was in hospital.
“My family were worried but they knew I was in the best place.
“The staff at Glenfield were unreal – they were so supportive and gave me so much reassurance,” he said.
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Now, after spending 14 days in the hospital, Josh is back home with his parents where he is “taking baby steps” to getting back on his feet, both physically and mentally.
He said that he will now have to continue taking blood thinners due to the risk of blood clots for around six months.
“I’m taking baby steps at the minute. I’ve been walking up and down the garden to get my muscles moving and energy back up,” he said.
Josh is now urging more young people to take the virus seriously. After sharing his experience on Instagram, the young man received a wave of responses.
“I never expected that I would get it so bad – I was so in denial. I don’t think all young people understand how bad it can be,” he said.