The father-of-two, Andrew Watts, had to learn to walk and talk all over again after fighting for his life with a severe COVID-induced pneumonia for close to ten months.
'One of the sickest COVID patients'
Upon being admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Christmas day in 2020, the poor man's health rapidly deteriorated requiring him to be put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. Described as 'one of the sickest COVID patients' ever to have been admitted to the hospital by doctors, the man came close to death on several occasions due to collapsed lungs. He explained:
A week before Christmas 2020, I started to feel ill. I wasn’t eating and I was losing weight, but I thought it was just the anxiety getting to me. When I was admitted to hospital with COVID I initially responded well to treatment, but then my oxygen levels started to drop.
I was taken for a CT scan and that was when I was told that I had a pneuomothorax, which is a split on the lung.
It wasn't until June 2021 that Watts was taken off the ventilator and start breathing on his own. At this point, he began regaining health little by little until he was finally well enough to be released from the hospital.
A COVID and cancer survivor
The cab driver also revealed having just battled through cancer right before becoming ill with the coronavirus. His resilience throughout his fight against cancer served him with the tools necessary to take on long-COVID as he explains that:
It was very hard to stay positive. But I remembered how when I was going through my chemotherapy I was told to look forward, set myself little goals and when I’d achieved them set myself another one. So that’s what I did.
Going home is one major goal, but then that just starts another road in my recovery. I started walking just four weeks ago, and my next goal is to walk to my son’s school and back by Christmas.