A Dublin teenager has told of his harrowing battle with COVID-19 and is urging other young people to take the disease seriously.
Jack Edge, 17, from Rathfarnham, had no underlying health conditions when he contracted the virus in April. Five months on and three hospital admissions later, the Leaving Cert student is still suffering from the "destruction" the virus wreaked on his body.
Jack first displayed symptoms of COVID-19 on 15 April and five days later was admitted to Tallaght University Hospital. Within hours of being hospitalised, he was fighting for his life. Jack had to be put on a ventilator to help him breathe for 12 days. As his condition stabilised, he was transferred to a high dependency unit.
Jack said: "I couldn't sleep for three days. Every time I closed my eyes, there was just dizziness and loads of colours. "I literally stayed in the bed for 72 hours, just staring at the wall. I had a lot of dark times in the hospital, since I do struggle with anxiety too."
"But the care I received was absolutely amazing. They came in and talked to me if I needed to talk, as I would often get lonely, as it was mainly just me in an isolation room."
However, surviving COVID-19 was just the first step for Jack. On 28 May, he was readmitted to hospital in excruciating pain. Doctors told him he may have suffered nerve damage associated with the virus.
"I’m currently taking 18-20 tablets a day. Tablets for the nerve damage, for pain and for my anxiety. "
"I basically have to learn to walk again. I do two to two-and-a-half hours of physio every day, depending on how much energy I have. I wake up some days and I get really upset. I still don’t know why this happened to me or how I got it."
Jack hopes that by sharing his story he can raise awareness of the dangers and debilitating long-term effects of COVID-19 for young people.
Source: RTE News, 2 October 2020
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