COVID-19 survivor in battle for her life

19th Apr 2020

A nurse who battled coronavirus has urged people to seek medical help sooner if they feel they are deteriorating.

Charlene Nelson, aged 37, is currently recovering at her home after contracting the virus.

The mum-of-one, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2015, was able to fight off the disease after spending just under a week in hospital.

Charlene, who was initially taken to Sandwell Hospital for treatment, said: “If I hadn’t dialled 999, who knows what sort of condition I would be in now.
“The care I received was brilliant and NHS staff are doing everything they can to help patients.

“I am so much better than I was a week ago. I’m just glad that I got treatment when I did.”

Charlene, who also works as a nurse at Sandwell Hospital, said she started suffering shortness of breath on 12 April.

“I just couldn’t breathe,” she added. “I called for an ambulance and it all felt like a big blur. I got into A&E and then I was put into isolation because of my symptoms.

“I was treated with antibiotics and tested for coronavirus.  Because of my kidney condition, I was transferred to another hospital for further treatment. My results for COVID-19 came back positive. I was in a bad way for the first two days and I was very scared.

“But I soon started responding to the treatment and began improving.”

Charlene added: “I think there maybe people out there who think they don’t need to go to hospital or believe that their situation will worsen if they do go. However, my condition definitely improved.

“I would also strongly urge people to stay indoors to protect those who are most vulnerable in our society.”

Charlene said she doesn’t know how she contracted the disease as she had been wearing correct PPE during her time working at the hospital and had not been treating COVID-19 patients.

She explained: “It could have been from handling post or when I was food shopping. I suppose we’ll never know where I got it from, which just shows how cautious we need to be.”

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