The last thing Sean Gibbons can remember is being on a hospital trolley when he could feel his body “just stopping”.
The father to two grown-up sons was at home when he asked his wife, Debbie, to call an ambulance as he struggled to breathe.
“I knew if I hadn’t gone in then I could have been dead,” says Sean as he recovers at home in Farleys Lane, Hucknall.
“My heart was playing up and my lungs were not working. I can’t tell you exactly what the feeling was, because it was something I’d never experienced before. I knew something was drastically wrong”.
Sean got into an ambulance at the end of his drive. And woke up three and a half weeks later when doctors brought him out of a coma.
He saw the medics around him wearing face masks in the intensive care unit at Nottingham’s City Hospital.
“I was frightened,” he says. “I couldn’t talk. There were dates on a board. It was April. And I went into hospital in March”.
At the beginning of his treatment, he had to be put in a medically induced coma when oxygen alone was not enough.
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Sean, 57, has had pneumonia, three tracheotomies, infections, constant antibiotic changes, a blood transfusion, deep vein thrombosis and several other medical procedures.
“At City Hospital they were fantastic,” says Sean.
“Three or four times I was on the brink of death”.
He knows now he had severe Covid-19. He returned home at the end of May and regained some of the two-and-half stone he lost while in hospital.
Now he has thrombosis in his right leg which limits how far he can walk and he will be on heart and blood thinning tablets for the rest of his life.
Sean and Debbie have since raised £1,900 for the intensive care ward where he was treated.