Wen O’Flynn, 23, of Cork, was admitted to intensive care in April after his oxygen levels dropped and his heart function dropped to a third of what it should be.
He remembered a question about whether he would ever leave the intensive care unit or whether he would die there.
“Those two or three days in intensive care were probably my lowest point,” he said at a press conference for the National Public Health Emergency Team Monday.
“I got a lot of support from my girlfriend, family, co-workers and friends, but still very dark days. We were in unknown territory, we didn’t know what we were dealing with.
“Fortunately, things slowly started to dissolve over the next few days. I was released back to the ward from the intensive care unit and was released a week later.
“When I went home I still wasn’t fixed, that wasn’t the end of the story at all.
“I was breathless at home and was in constant contact with the physiotherapists to monitor how I was developing.
“It was about six weeks from my discharge before I got back to normal.
“I still haven’t essentially returned to my baseline.”
Dr. O’Flynn said he wanted to share his experience to emphasize that while the elderly are the most at risk of Covid-19, it can have a devastating impact on people of all ages.
“There’s no real way of telling who’s going to get worse. I’m only 23 years old, had a high baseline before, but ended up in intensive care, ”he said.
“I encourage anyone who thinks they are immune to the more severe symptoms of the disease to think twice and follow current public health advice.”
Another 825 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed by NPHET on Monday, bringing the Irish total to 43,531.
224 patients are treated with Covid-19 in hospitals, 32 of them in the intensive care unit.
Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan stressed that everyone must act to contain the spread of the virus.
He said 7,988 Covid-19 cases had been reported in the last 14 days, and there was a 14-day incidence of 168 cases per 100,000 – an increase from 108 at the beginning of the week.
“There is no more time to lose, we all need to act and we have to break the chains of transmission of this virus as soon as possible,” he said.
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