Neil Coyle was almost hospitalised while suffering from Coronavirus so severe he was struggling to ‘get enough oxygen while gasping for breath’.
The Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP says he only left the house for the first time on Good Friday after more than a month in isolation.
“I had a cough come on one day, and then the temperature appeared,” he said.
“The night sweats were like nothing I’ve ever known, I’d wake up and my hands would be so wet with sweat they’d be wrinkly like I’d been in the bath.
“The physical aches, the fatigue, night sweats and cramps were uncomfortable but it was the coughing that was most draining.
“You’re continually coughing and your body can’t get enough oxygen in. I have asthma but have never had an asthma attack.
“After eleven days I phoned my GP who said if I didn’t improve I would have to go to hospital. He prescribed me a stronger inhaler and it really helped. From then on I began to get better.
“I am relatively fit and healthy and it knocked me for six. I couldn’t even read a book I felt so ill and had no focus.”
Fortunately his wife and daughter were already at his mother-in-law’s home when he came down with the illness and have not been exposed to the virus. It’s a relief, he says, even though it meant not being with Esme on her fourth birthday.
“It is hard,” he says of being apart, “but people have been dropping things round to me and my team are all set up to work from home and have been fantastic, so they’re still doing their casework and I’m back on my feet again.
“I just want to urge people to stay at home. Having had the virus and being thankful it wasn’t as serious as it could have been, I’m worried that I’m still seeing people including teenagers going the park with their gym kit and their friends.
“They’re still spreading it.”