A hospital worker who caught Covid over Christmas said he “had never felt fear like it” as he battled the killer virus.
Theatre technician, Glenn Dene, was left fighting to breath after being struck down by coronavirus in December.
The 38-year-old said because of the job he did, he’s seen many healthy people his age “being admitted to hospital and not come out.”
The keen photographer has now been given permission to capture the stark reality of the pandemic crisis in hospitals.
Speaking to Wales Online he described his experiences of having the virus and working on the covid frontline.
He said: “Leading up to Christmas I started to feel really tired and run down but I put it down to the time of the year and being busy in work.
“And then on Christmas eve morning, in the early hours, I just woke up sweating bucket-loads.
“I took my temperature and it was something like 38.2 and so seeing what I’ve seen over the last year I thought ‘This isn’t good’.
“Within about three to four hours I just deteriorated badly. By Christmas eve night I was struggling to breathe.”
And he added: “My taste and smell didn’t completely go but nothing tasted as it should and I was just completely fatigued with a shortness of breath.
“The cough came later. My chest was so tight and was making an awful sound every time I tried to breathe.
“I’ve seen enough to realise I had caught it so it was just the case of waiting for the positive test which came on Boxing Day.
“I had no appetite, all I ate was a biscuit most days. I couldn’t breathe, I didn’t know I could sleep as much as I did, it completely wiped me out.”
Glenn worked at the Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny throughout the first lockdown and is now in The Grange, in Cwmbran, and is more aware than most just how debilitating the virus can be.
He was fortunate enough not to be admitted to hospital but is still feeling the effects of the illness weeks later – so much so that he is breathless after walking and will need to use an asthma inhaler for months.
He added: “It’s not just the physical symptoms that were bad, my anxiety went through the roof.
“Because of the job I do, over the last year I’ve seen people my age, healthy people, being admitted to hospital and not coming out.
“I was just so worried for my family that I just had a big breakdown on Boxing Day.
“Thankfully I had been on annual leave running up to Christmas so hadn’t seen too many people which was a relief as the anxiety that I had passed it on in work was eating me up.”
Keen photographer Glenn has now been given permission to capture the reality of the pandemic within his region’s hospitals.
At one stage, his health board had the most Covid cases per head in the UK.
Glenn warned: “This wave feels different to the first one in that it’s bigger.
“We’ve also got a mixture of people so we see lots of younger people this time.
“This time is much more extreme, this is not what I saw the first time around.”