One Member's CoVID Journey
One of our members, Maurice (Mo) Arkus, takes us through his journey of contracting CoVID-19, via the NHS Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust...
Maurice (Mo) woke up with a bad headache one December morning, followed by a cough. As he deteriorated over four days, his daughter, Linzi, a local GP, became increasingly alarmed and sent him a pulse oximeter to check his blood oxygen levels. This was a lifesaver, showing how dangerously low they were. Teri, his wife, immediately drove Mo to Southend Hospital A & E, where he was soon triaged to a side-room in Orthopaedics.
Around this time Teri’s COVID test result also came back positive. Within days she was bedridden, suffering a raging headache, aches all over, bleeding gums, no appetite and loss of sense of taste and smell. Gerty, the family greyhound, was constantly by her side – her only source of comfort besides that of her daughter who was social distancing.
Although it was hoped to keep him stable there for the duration, Mo’s condition deteriorated further over the next couple of days, with increasingly laboured breathing and a general feeling of being extremely unwell. Mo was transferred to High Dependency Unit (HDU) for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and much closer monitoring. Extraordinary care Struggling with CPAP at first, he found that trying to relax was the best option. While in HDU, a video link was arranged with his family, but his memory remains blurred. He does recall a nurse saying “when patients are here with us we are not just nurses but family as well”.
By Christmas Day, Mo’s condition became critical. The family prepared for the worst. Thankfully, Mo slowly turned a corner and was eventually transferred from HDU to Blenheim Ward, which he recalls as surreal. “With beds against the wall and staff wearing breathing apparatus, it was like a 1950s B - rated movie”.
Mo eventually returned home by ambulance a few weeks after admission, to an emotional reunion. Teri recalls seeing him “thin, exhausted, emotional... but alive!” Linzi texted to ask if he was pleased to see ‘G’ (Gerty) and Mo replied “Did you mean God? Because it was an experience shaking hands with God but I was happier to see Gerty!” Both Mo and Teri continue to do well and are profoundly grateful to Southend Hospital staff for the care and attention that he received.
- We are hoping to see Mo back at the Club very soon!