In his own words, this is the story of how Bang & Olufsen Edge advertiser Darren Maynard and his wife Claire both contracted Covid-19.
“It all started with a bit of a flu/cold feeling. You know, that feeling you get when you leave work and by the time you get home, there’s nothing you can do but go to bed and try to stop your teeth from chattering. Followed by waking up for a couple of mornings sweating like Rolf Harris at a school panto. But we weren’t all that overly concerned at the time. It genuinely seemed to pass fairly quickly and I can’t even say we were confined to bed. In fact, after day 3, Mrs M went into the garden and started planting things.
But a couple of days later, when my recovery was almost done, Mrs M started to get very wheezy and have a bit of trouble breathing. I don’t think we realised how bad it was at first, but when she couldn’t get about without really struggling for another 3 days, it became quite worrying. We even resorted to sticking her out in the garden to get some fresh air, which seemed to help, but as soon as she came back indoors, it was game over. So it was then that we decided to call 111. As soon as they heard Mrs M’s voice, they immediately asked if I could get her to A&E. At that point it all became very real indeed.
I quickly drove us from our home in Wickford to Basildon Hospital and it was like being taken from a safe harbour into a war zone. The place was eerily quiet. There were just two security guards at the entrance wearing masks and gloves. Poor Mrs M said she felt like shite and with that she just walked in and didn’t even turn around to wave ‘goodbye’. At that point I honestly thought ‘Will I ever see you again?’ and it was an absolutely terrifying thought.
Claire was admitted within 45 minutes and on a ward within 2 hours, on a cocktail of antibiotics, oxygen and saline. She told me how other patients were all around her and some were in a far worse state than she was. The saddest story was of an elderly guy who was in a really bad way and the nurses were desperately trying to get hold of his wife on FaceTime so that he could say goodbye to her. Sadly, he passed away before they could reach her. You can’t even begin to imagine how hard that must have been, can you?
Fortunately for us, Claire reacted really well to her treatment and after being able to keep her own oxygen levels up in her blood without the need to be given any, she was thankfully back home just 2 days later. We will always be grateful for the excellent care she received from Basildon Hospital and the staff who are putting themselves at risk every single day. They are true heroes.
Mrs M was very lucky, but for so many, the story has sadly ended very differently indeed.”