Gran fighting for life shares grim reality of battle with virus

A woman fighting for her life in hospital with coronavirus has described the horrific symptoms she has experienced.

Sharon Kingdom, from Llantrisant, was hospitalised with coronavirus on Thursday, November 5 after testing positive for the virus on the Monday.

Her whole family were hit by Covid after her 23-year-old son started displaying symptoms and was the first to test positive.

“I could feel my chest worsening and the pain creeping down into my lungs. I’ve already had pneumonia and a plural effusion twice this year and I have lung scarring.”

When Sharon received her positive test on Monday she was taken to A&E by ambulance and an x-ray and blood tests revealed she had Covid-19 and had developed pneumonia as a result. 

She was given antibiotics and doctors upped her dosage of steroids and she was sent home. The following day she was able to gather the energy to bake a cake for her granddaughter’s birthday but she still didn’t feel well.

“That night my temperature was hitting 40C and I couldn’t keep it down, I think I was delirious. By morning I was soaked and shivering and finding breathing increasingly difficult.”

Sharon was taken to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital on Thursday where she has been sharing updates of her condition since.

She has described the horrific impact coronavirus has had on her, which left her body weakened, lethargic and struggling to breath.

(Image: Sharon King)
(Image: Sharon King)

The 49-year-old detailed how the last few days have seen her in nappies, incontinent and only being able to use a commode by the bed.

She described how every time she moves, which causes her to cough, “every single nerve ending in my body is screaming with fire, pins and needles don’t even come close.”

On Sunday, sharing an update to her Facebook page, grandmother-of-three and mother-of-four said: “The lack of airspace in the lungs and the amount of sticky mucous and the lung pain is indescribable.

“Everything is swollen and tight and bruised. I’ve seen my deceased loved ones more than a few times waiting for me smiling, and I have to say it’s a comforting sight when your not sure you have a next breath in you.” 

Sharon said she has been sharing the updates to warn people just how bad the virus is, and to encourage them to consider their social interactions.

She said: “They may be fine but so many of us are not. I consider myself very lucky to be alive today, honestly I really thought this was the end of me.

“I am only 49. I do have health problems but I am still a useful member of my family and very much needed. It’s not like I was ‘dying of something anyway.'”

(Image: Sharon King)
(Image: Sharon King)

In recent years, Sharon has battled with ill health. In 2019 she was hospitalised with pneumonia and a plural infusion and as a result her lung was collapsed for months. The year before, in 2018, she was hospitalised with a brain injury.

After a weekend receiving oxygen and other treatments, by Monday, Sharon started to feel better, but is still in hospital suffering with the extreme symptoms.

She described how she has “alternating bouts of feeling dreadful and close to the edge” and admitted that her treatment is helping along with the staff’s “wonderful care”.

Now Sharon’s taste has returned but she still dreads the pain that comes with every cough.

Sharon said: “Every move still brings the dreaded cough which brings the dreaded mucous and subsequent period of catching ones breath, and I’m sure every organ below the diaphragm is now suspended outside my body.

“Limited to bed, chair, commode and the same routine of meds, wee pads, washing bowls.

“I have washed for the first time. It took three hours and I brushed my hair.”

She stressed how amazing the staff caring for her have been and described them as “absolutely amazing”.

“This thing tricks you into feeling your progressing only to grab your progress right back and send you tumbling down that slope your slowly climbing.”

One thing on Sharon’s mind is the health of one of her friends who has also been affected by the virus.

“I’ve a friend that was in the next ward, I spoke to her one day before I came in and the next she was taken to ITU and ventilated. Her mother followed two days later. I’ve not heard if they are pulling through. I’ve another friend in another ward who’s come in the last few days also.

“So your worrying for others the whole time.”

Sharon is now focusing on resting as her symptoms have started to ease but she is still receiving a high dosage of oxygen.

She said she is preparing herself for a long and slow recovery.

WalesOnline – Wales News