An Aberdeen woman who spent a week in hospital with Covid-19 believes the staff who treated her saved her life.
Elaine Douglas, 59, was hospitalised in March last year, meaning she was one of the first people to contract coronavirus in the north-east.
The Hazlehead grandmother, who spoke to the Evening Express about her experience last year, admitted she was “terrified” when she was admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
She saw first-hand the toll the pandemic was taking on hospital workers.
And she credits them with ensuring she is still alive a year on.
“The week before I was admitted I was in bed but I didn’t think I had Covid,” Elaine said.
“I just thought I wasn’t very well until I couldn’t breathe – I was gasping for breath and at that point I got taken in.
“I stay on my own so being in that position was really scary.
“When I was in hospital everything was just starting to get bad and the place was mayhem. I felt so sorry for the staff. There were more and more people coming in and they were having to shut down wards. They did a fantastic job.
“Until the day I die I’ll be grateful to them. I’ve had cancer and a heart attack, but when I had Covid I thought that was my time. I think they saved my life – if I won the lottery I’d take them all out for a fish supper.
“I’ve so much respect and admiration for them. It’s their job and they don’t have a choice – the decision to be there was made for them.
“I saw a lot of them upset. One of the nurses had two kids and she was petrified of taking it home.
“Nobody knew at that point what to do about it and that affected them in a lot of different ways.”
After she got out of hospital, Elaine began to recover – but she believes the virus has had a long-term impact on her health.
And she urged others to keep following rules such as social distancing and wearing masks.
“It was a relief to get out of hospital but I was terrified at the same time,” Elaine added.
“I felt safer in there than I did at home, because nobody was allowed near me.
“I had to isolate for a fortnight which was a real struggle because you want your family near you. In the hospital you can have a chat with the nurses.
“After I got home I got a rash, which I was told means you are at the end of it, and then extreme tiredness. To be honest, that’s still there all this time later – I get tired very easily. It’s definitely had a lasting impact on me.
“So many people were so blasé about it, saying they wouldn’t wear masks and things like that – but the alternative is terrifying. Following the rules makes a huge difference.”
Read more from our Covid One Year On series here: