'It doesn't care if you're young' - Covid-19 ICU survivor issues stark warning to young people
A healthcare worker who was admitted to ICU with Covid-19 in April has issued a warning to people over the seriousness of the virus.
38-year-old Jerick Martin spent 68 days in ICU after contracting Covid-19 at the height of the pandemic in April. He spoke on Monday to warn others how it can impact young people.
"I know from personal experience how dangerous this virus is," he said.
"I was a fit and healthy man in my thirties, working and enjoying my life with my wife and my daughter. I caught Covid-19 and within five days of experiencing my first symptoms, I was admitted to hospital, where I spent 68 days in intensive care, most of that time on a ventilator, in an induced coma.
"I was told by my doctor that I would be in the induced coma for a few days, but I actually woke up two months later. The impact of that is very frightening and it will have long-lasting effects.
"This disease does not care that you are young, fit and healthy. It does not care that you have a family who love you and who are waiting for you to come home. Anyone can catch it, and anyone can become very sick.
"I am very grateful to be alive, and I would like people to realise the effect that Covid-19 can easily have on you.
"Being in an induced coma on a ventilator means that you are unconscious and a machine has to breathe for you. I had multi-organ failure, and my family had to cope with me being unable to respond to them, unable to hear them, surrounded by machinery and tubes in a hospital bed.
"My wife says this was a living hell for her. She thought I was going to die, and the hospital had to ring her twice to tell her that I might not live.
"I eventually began to recover, thanks to the staff in Beaumont Hospital and the family and friends who prayed for me, and I was able to go home.
"Even now, my life and my health have changed. I lost 3 and a half stone in weight. I have diabetes, shortness of breath and hypertension. I did not have these conditions before. Now, I need an inhaler and I am short of breath going up or down the stairs.
"I don’t know what the longer-term effects are going to be.
"I am asking now for everyone to be careful. Take this virus very seriously."