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Survivor’s message of hope after nine days in intensive care fighting coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 05:51 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:19 14 April 2020

Kirsty Fielder,  from Gorleston, in intensive care at James Paget Hospital during her treatment for coronavirus. Picture: Chad Fielder

Kirsty Fielder, from Gorleston, in intensive care at James Paget Hospital during her treatment for coronavirus. Picture: Chad Fielder

Chad Fielding

A woman with diabetes and asthma who spent nine days in intensive care to successfully overcome coronavirus has said there is hope for others battling the disease.

Kirsty Fielder, 39, from Gorleston, who suffers from risk factors, including Brittle asthma, a rare form that can suddenly develop into a life-threatening attack, is now recovering at home after overcoming the virus.

She said: “There is so much sad news at the moment but people need to know that people like me are beating it as well.

Kirsty Fielder is now recuperating at home in Gorleston, after overcoming coronavirus. Picture: Chad FielderKirsty Fielder is now recuperating at home in Gorleston, after overcoming coronavirus. Picture: Chad Fielder

“It was extremely scary. I didn’t think I was going to come home, but I have. It feels a bit surreal. Part of it feels like it was a bad dream.”

MORE: ‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ - Norfolk hospital sends home first ICU coronavirus survivor

Ms Fielder, who works at Kirstys Cakery in Great Yarmouth, started to feel unwell on March 23 and within days was so short of breath she could climb the stairs without collapsing and not being able to talk.

At the James Paget Hospital her condition quickly deteriorated and she was admitted to the suspected covid-19 ward for testing. Within 24 hours she was diagnosed and admitted to intensive care where she developed pneumonia in both lungs.

She said: “When I first got ill I thought I was getting a chest infection which I get quite often. Then I got a lot worse and by the time I went into hospital I think I was pretty convinced that is what I had.”

Her brother Chad Fielder, a primary care paramedic, said: “The staff worked tirelessly to keep her alive and treating the effects of these terrible conditions.

“The ITU consultant informed us it wasn’t looking good and he felt they were losing the battle and to prepare for the worst news possible.

Kirsty Fielder spent nine days in intensive care at James Paget Hospital. Picture: Denise BradleyKirsty Fielder spent nine days in intensive care at James Paget Hospital. Picture: Denise Bradley

“But over the coming days Kirsty’s determination and grit alongside the dogged determination of the staff to not give up on her continued to do physiotherapy on her despite being on a machine to breath for her.”

Her condition eventually improved and she is now recuperating at home with her partner Chris and spaniel Buttons.

She said: “Messages on my phone were the only contact I had with anyone other than the staff who were all in masks and gowns and protective clothing.

“But the doctors said to keep my spirits up because it didn’t look good at times, but I never gave up fighting.”

MORE: More than 80 coronavirus patients discharged from James Paget Hospital

Before leaving hospital she managed to stand outside to join the clap for NHS staff. “I think it was the least I could do for all that they did for me,” she said. “They saved my life. It was an emotional moment and there were a few tears.

“My message is simple, never give up, no matter what the situation, how bleak it appears. If a patisserie chef from Great Yarmouth, who is asthmatic and diabetic, can beat it and come home you can too.”

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