A 45-year-old man who is hospitalised with Covid-19 has urged the country to pay Covid-19 the ultimate respect, saying "do not take any chances. Do not take this virus lightly at all."
Noel Donnelan phoned into RTÉ’ Radio 1's Liveline from his bed in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) earlier to beg the public to pay heed to public health advice and give themselves the best chance of avoiding coronavirus.
The decorative artist said he was fit and healthy before catching the virus but had to be brought to hospital by ambulance last week when his condition deteriorated.
Noel's symptoms included exhaustion, serious chills, temperatures, pain and overall aches and began last week. He ended up in hospital on Wednesday via ambulance after he went rapidly downhill while at home.
“I couldn’t say goodbye to my young boys and to my wife. I could hardly walk into the toilet,” Noel said.
He said his breathing was okay but he had such severe pain in his back that it felt like “my kidneys were going to jump out of my back.”
Mr Donnelan's speech was laboured while on air, as he advised people to give this virus the respect it deserves. He recounted the fear he felt when being wheeled in a wheelchair to the Covid-19 ward in UHL.
“You don’t know what you’re going up to or if you will ever come out of there.
“Do not take any chances. Do not take this virus lightly at all. Assume that you have it, or that others have it. Think of your family,” he said.
Mr Donnelan said he has always been careful and followed social distancing and public health guidelines, including wearing face masks and regularly washing his hands, and believes he caught the virus while working in London.