A CORONAVIRUS survivor who fought the illness in hospital for a month has urged people to take it seriously.

Yapton resident Carl Carter was rushed to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester with severe breathing difficulties in March.

After spending 12 days on a ventilator and three more in intensive care, the 49-year-old insurance firm director began his long road to recovery.

He had to learn again how to speak, eat and walk.

He was eventually discharged on April 24 with carers lining up to clap as he left.

More than a month later Carl is still affected by the aftermath of the virus.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anybody,” he said.

“Until you’ve gone through it it’s a hard thing to grasp.

“Take it seriously. If not you, you don’t know who it will affect. For many people it’s a one-way road. I was one of the lucky ones.”

The Argus: Carl thanked the staff at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester who helped him recover. Photo: WSHFT CommunicationsCarl thanked the staff at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester who helped him recover. Photo: WSHFT Communications

Carl first developed flu-like symptoms in March.

“I woke up one day and it was like trying to breathe through a straw with a plastic bag over your head,” he said.

After calling 111, Carl was driven to A&E and immediately sent to the resuscitation ward.

“They explained they would put me on a ventilator and gave me the opportunity to Facetime my family,” he said.

“What I didn’t know until afterwards was they did that because that could’ve been the last time I saw them.”

For ten days Carl did not respond to ventilation.

But two days later his lungs were strong enough to be taken off it.

After three more days in intensive care on strong drugs which caused “horrific” hallucinations, he began to pull through.

The Argus: Carl is recovering at home after spending a month in hospitalCarl is recovering at home after spending a month in hospital

“For the first three days I couldn’t talk,” he said.

“I couldn’t write, I couldn’t eat. For the first week I couldn’t walk.

“To deteriorate to the point where I had use to a Zimmer frame to walk three metres was humbling.”

Carl lost 12 kilograms while he was in hospital.

But after regaining his strength he was discharged to the claps of his carers on April 24.

“I’ve got a portable oxygen bottle I’m still using,” he said.

“I forget words a lot and it’s hard to concentrate.

“But I can’t thank the staff at St Richard’s enough. They even visited me when they weren’t working.

“They’re real heroes.”

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