Article By: Stuart Pike - READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE
“My muscles completely died,” she said. “I couldn’t sit up, or walk or keep my head straight. I couldn’t drink a cup of tea - they gave me a baby cup with handles on. I had to go into rehabilitation. I’m still not walking properly.”
A mum-of-four who says she came frightening close to losing her life through coronavirus has spoken of the bizarre and debilitating ways it has turned her life upside down.
Former pub landlady Katie Williamson, 49, says she spent over three weeks on a ventilator in intensive care flitting in and out of a ‘hallucinatory’ state, and after release from hospital, was left with ‘weird’ memory blackouts.
Katie, from Stacksteads, was rushed to hospital a few days after work colleagues said she had begun to look unwell, and later being diagnosed with Covid-19.
She said: “It was very peculiar what happened. The ambulance man said my oxygen levels were the equivalent of a dead person.
“Because my oxygen levels were that low it was like a hallucination state. I had been to my mum’s house. She told me I had been to the house, but I don’t remember.
“She said I was weird. Whilst I was in hospital I rang everybody. I don’t actually remember ringing these people.”
Katie, who works in aftersales for Perry’s car dealership, says Royal Blackburn medics tried to take her off a ventilator three times before she finally came round.
“I was very close to not pulling through,” she said. “They Facetimed my family on the iPad and they said on the fourth time you are going to have to let her go.
“My family were absolutely distraught. Fortunately I came round, so I made it.
“I was away with the fairies - I was ‘in China’ and bought a chateau in France. People do need to know.
“It’s the ones that are left behind that it’s bad for; it wasn’t painful for me. The worst thing for me was when I came round.”
After spending most of April in ICU, Katie, who says she had lost five stone, was just beginning the long road to recovery as she sustained several bizarre and frightening side-effects.
She said she is now a full-blown diabetic, having previously been able to control the condition with food, and has also suffered hair loss and bad skin.
“My muscles completely died,” she said. “I couldn’t sit up, or walk or keep my head straight. I couldn’t drink a cup of tea - they gave me a baby cup with handles on.
“I stayed in hospital for another three weeks and had to go into rehabilitation. I’m still not walking properly.”
When she was discharged she went to stay at her mum’s house because it was more suitable.
“It’s set up for an 85-year-old woman with a downstairs wet room,” Katie said. “I couldn’t get to the toilet alone, I couldn’t shower. My mum was more mobile than me.
“If I go shopping I have to take one of my boys with me - I don’t feel safe to do it by myself. Now when my body is tired it stops and will not go any further.
“I get short of breath, it’s frightening. My whole life has been turned upside down. I am nowhere near back on my feet.”
Former Deerplay pub manager Katie, who returned to work part-time last month, says her family and employer have been “brilliant” with her.
She also thanked her “fabulous” GP Dr Saleem, of Whitworth Medical Centre, who put in daily calls to check on her welfare and even gave her a poem - ‘I met a Covid survivor today’.RELATED ARTICLES
Last week she attended a conference with medical students, to help develop understanding of the effects of Covid.
She was advised it could take her 18 months to fully recover, and urged those who are not taking the virus seriously to reconsider.
“I don’t know anybody other than me who has been through this, but I know a lot have,” she said.
“Those people have to come forward.
“If they don’t tell their story, people don’t understand how bad it is. If I hadn’t experienced what I had experienced I will hold my hand up that I would probably have said it’s not a big deal, get yourself to work.
“But people need to do their bit to stop this, because I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”