'Covid nearly took me, please be careful' - recovering Hartlepool paramedic tells of traumatic personal battle with virus

A Hartlepool paramedic says he is lucky to be alive as he recovers from coronavirus – and has urged people to keep themselves and others safe.

Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 1:53 pm

North East Ambulance Service worker Tony Traynor was admitted to hospital twice after contracting Covid-19, and is only now slowly starting to get back on his feet almost five weeks on.

Tony tested positive after developing a dry cough while at work, and over the next week his conditioned worsened to the point that he stopped breathing and lost consciousness.

His worried wife Melissa called for an ambulance and he was admitted to North Tees hospital.

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Tony relaxing in his garden at home with his pet dog.

He was released three days later after feeling better, but within days he was admitted again for another nine days.

Tony, 42, of West View Road, said: “I was among some people who unfortunately didn’t make it so it was a very tense time.

“I was very lucky I managed to come out.”

He was in pain, had a fever and had to wear a mask as oxygen was driven into his lungs.

Medics talked about putting Tony on a ventilator, but luckily it was not needed.

He said: “It was so frightening because you are lying there in pain, not exerting yourself and your oxygen levels are getting lower and lower.

“It’s basically eating up your lungs.”

Tony has spent the last couple of weeks recuperating at home and went outside for the first time this week.

He gets breathless if he exerts himself too much and has been left with damage to his lungs he hopes will repair.

Tony hopes to return to work soon to continue to help with the fight against the virus.

He is also appealing to people to continue to be careful as the lockdown measures start to be eased.

“If people or anybody they know have been touched by the illness they would absolutely take it more seriously,” said Tony.

“I’m a strong fit fella and it nearly took me.”

Tony thanked everyone who has cared for and supported him and Melissa during his illness including colleagues, neighbours and the Poolie Time Exchange which delivered food to the couple.

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