Two of Tayside’s Covid-19 survivors have described themselves as “blessed” and “delighted” to have made it to Christmas.
While 2020 has been a tough year for many, some – such as Professor Grant McIntyre – had a harder time of it than others.
Grant’s life was left hanging in the balance this year after he was diagnosed with Covid-19 in March.
The 49-year-old, who was described as Ninewells’ “sickest survivor”, was forced to spend 128 days in hospital, almost three months of which were spent in intensive care.
Six weeks of that time were spent on life support at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and he lost 26kg in weight.
He described his condition as “touch and go.”
Grant, who is a consultant orthodontist and clinical director for Dundee Dental Hospital, was finally sent home in June, and is now five months further along the road to recovery.
He said: “Obviously, I’m delighted to still be on the planet.
“I’ve not returned fully to normal yet, I still have rehab work to do and I’ve picked up a few health complications, both from the virus itself and just my extended stay in hospital.
“Still, I am very much looking forward to spending Christmas with my family.”
Despite his joy at making it through his battle with the virus, Grant still has some concerns about the future.
He added: “There is still a bit of frustration for me because I really thought that we would have dealt with this by now.
“I also have a degree of frustration towards the people of the UK who maybe haven’t stuck to the rules so much.”
The Covid survivor also fears that the early stages of the vaccination roll-out taking place now will lead to a false sense of security.
He said: “It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot.
“While it is tremendous that we’ve reached this point there is an underlying worry that people might see this as a way to stop caring about the virus.
“Still, it’s amazing to be at this point just months on from the day that I thought I would be dying.”
Others have also expressed their joy at surviving a brush with the virus – and look forward to a Christmas they doubted would happen for them.
‘We didn’t know if we would survive’
Art student Eva Brown, 45, and her husband Robert, 49, who live at City Quay, both tested positive for the virus in March.
While the two were never sent to hospital, Eva described the experience as petrifying.
Nine months later, the pair have recovered from the virus and are now looking forward to being with their family this Christmas.
Eva said: “At the start we were petrified. It was so stressful, the difficulty breathing and the muscle pain.
“We didn’t know if we would survive, it was so early on and there wasn’t a lot of information available to us.
“To have that knowledge that nobody could really help you was really terrifying for us.
“But now, especially at Christmas time, we feel blessed by God because we survived and we are able to be with our children.”
Like Grant, the couple still feel the effects of the virus to this day, despite being Covid-free.
Eva added: “We still have a bit of trauma, it took me months to get my balance back and it took Robert even longer.
“He was in a lot of pain, and right now we are still quite worried for our family.
“We have four children, two grown up and two younger ones.
“Our son is 25 and lives in Poland. He currently has the virus and we are worried about him.
“We just hope that things will be better after Covid-19.”