‘Thank God for the NHS’ – woman praises staff who saved her life

PUBLISHED: 06:00 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 April 2020

Jane Witt, 67, enjoying a skiing holiday with her family, a week after this photograph was taken Ms Witt fell ill with coronavirus. Picture; Jane Witt

Jane Witt, 67, enjoying a skiing holiday with her family, a week after this photograph was taken Ms Witt fell ill with coronavirus. Picture; Jane Witt


A woman who was admitted to hospital with coronavirus has praised the NHS staff who saved her life, saying if she had not been admitted, she would have died.

On March 7, Jane Witt, 67, from Trowse, to the south of Norwich, along with her family travelled to St Anton in Austria for a week-long skiing holiday.

During their stay, the family noticed a number of strange things, including Mrs Witt not being allowed to visit her grandchildren in a different hotel to the one she was staying in, but no major restrictions and were able to enjoy their holiday as normal.

But by the time the family were due to return home they required an exit permit to leave St Anton which had been placed on lockdown by the authorities.

Within days of returning from holiday Mrs Witt suddenly fell ill with what she suspected was Covid-19. She said: “On Monday March, 16, I was on my knees, I was really ill.

“It was really sudden, I was fine with my family then at 7pm, I went into the kitchen to have something to eat, and I just said, I can’t stand up and went to bed.”

Other members of Mrs Witt’s family also fell ill to differing degrees but by Friday, Mrs Witt’s condition had deteriorated, so she called 111.

Paramedics were sent out to assess Mrs Witt, but it was not deemed necessary to admit her to hospital.

“I was desperately tired, I just slept and slept and slept, I had a cough and pains across my neck and shoulder, I developed a dry cough and I had a very high temperature,” she said.

“First and foremost I’m a pretty healthy person. I was pretty aware of the news by then. It wasn’t horribly serious, I’m a bit of an optimist, so my reaction was to drink a lot of water, rest and try to eat, and I did these things and I thought that I would get better, but I didn’t,” she said.

On Monday, March 23, Mrs Witt was admitted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after her condition deteriorated further.

She said: “I was out of it on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

Mrs Witt, said while she was in hospital, doctors called her daughter to tell her, her mother’s condition was “a waiting game” and plans were in place to take her to the intensive care unit.

By Thursday, Mrs Witt, had been moved to a confirmed Covid-19 ward for treatment, where she was under frequent observations and on oxygen until her health started to improve.

After around 10 days in hospital, Mrs Witt was discharged. She said the treatment she received during her admission was second to none but she also saw staff who were under a lot of pressure.

Thank God for the NHS and for those people who are in it and these people who still have a vocation to care for others, it’s amazing, it is totally amazing,” she said.

Back at home, Mrs Witt said she was making a good recovery, but still had a slight cough.

Reflecting on the past couple of weeks, she said: “It’s been an eye-opening experience, I felt safe in the NHS cocoon, if I had stayed at home I would not have survived.”

She said she had the utmost admiration for the staff and frontline workers within the NHS, but hoped staff would receive appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE).

“I have a huge amount of gratitude to the people who put themselves at risk to help me recover.

“I just wish [the government] would get the testing sorted out and protect the staff... I would like to see patients and staff get fruit and little treats that show them personally how much they’re valued.

“If I was going to be ill anywhere in the world, I would want it to be in England [with the NHS].” she said.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press