3 March 2021

Retired Professor shares his coronavirus journey

Martin was an Associate Professor in Marine Biology at the University of Southampton. Now retired, he talks about his coronavirus journey, and shares a thank you to the staff who saved his life.

“I was admitted to University Hospital Southampton in early April 2020 with Covid-19, and I was in Intensive Care for about six and a half weeks.

I got my first symptoms about two weeks before I was admitted to hospital.

I guess I had the typical symptoms – a high temperature, sore throat, persistent cough, although I didn’t lose my sense of taste or smell.

I thought I’d recovered after a few days, but then it hit me again with a vengeance. About two weeks after those initial symptoms, I called 111 to get assistance as I was so breathless.

Immediately they sent an ambulance and I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

For me I don’t remember much about my stay, except for some very vivid hallucinations.

I have three sons and until I spoke to them, I didn’t realise quite how bad it had been for them. I appreciate that they managed to hold it all together whilst I was in hospital.

After losing their mother last year, then potentially losing me, I think it would have been devastating for them.

Whilst I was in Intensive Care I had a stroke, and so needed extra recovery before then having to undertake physiotherapy to get my mobility back.

I am nearly back now after several months to 100%. It has been a long journey but I am nearly there.

I lost about a third of my body weight when I was in hospital, so I’ve been eating a lot. It was not something I’d ever thought about in terms of when people came out hospital.

I was discharged on 17 July and then had further physiotherapy for months when I got home. Even today, I am still doing exercises and physiotherapy at home to build up my muscles.

My sons have been taking me out for hikes and walks every weekend and I am gradually getting stronger. But it has been a long, long journey.

I would like to thank everyone on Intensive Care as without them, I don’t think I’d be alive.

The staff are incredibly hard working, professional, and not just that, they explained everything they were doing as they went along, even when you are not completely with it!

I think they really are heroes. They are putting their own lives on the line, and their relatives, and I really think they are a group of fantastic people.”

Let’s give our amazing NHS heroes room to do what they do best.

Our General Intensive Care Unit treats around 2,500 every year. All of them have severe, life-threatening conditions ranging from serious infections to injuries from major accidents. And it is where many patients with coronavirus are treated.

A gift to our appeal will help us to kit out the new state-of-the-art unit which is currently being built. Help us to give our sickest patients the world-class care they deserve.

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