Tyrone Covid patient warns ‘its not just a flu’

A TYRONE woman who was hospitalised after contracting Covid has warned others to follow the guidelines as it is “much more than a flu.”

Marie Louise McGuinness, her husband Nicky and their young children Sarah and Matthew from outside Omagh all tested positive for Covid19 at the start of the month.

Nicky and the two children had mild symptoms including a headache, cough and loss of smell, and recovered within a week of testing positive.


Unfortunately, Marie-Louise did not recover as quick, and eventually ended up in hospital after suffering at home for two weeks, and doctors found that her immune system crashed.

Marie-Louise explained, “Nicky found out that one of his colleagues had tested positive and they work quite closely together so he had to self isolate.

“He developed a really bad headache and temperature, and I had noticed my smell had become quite weak, and my daughter had a cough.

“Nicky’s test came back positive but mine was negative.

“I developed a cough, and I ordered some home kits which came back positive.

“My son had a headache but apart from that he was fine.

“It felt like a flu for the first week – aches and pains, headaches, feeling weak and a cough – but during the second week of it, my temperature started spiking and I felt absolutely rubbish.


“I rang the doctors and got an anti-biotic over the phone, but the next week I had to call again and was told to go to A&E and was kept in hospital.

“My immune system had crashed, I had no white blood cells left and the virus had weakened me a lot.”

Marie-Louise got discharged from hospital on Tuesday but has pneumonia and has been told it will be a long time before she is back to herself.

The woman is speaking out in the hope of raising awareness of the seriousness of this virus, and how it impacted her family.

“People think it is just the flu and they will be fine in a couple of day but that’s really not the case,” said Marie-Louise.

“I was very unwell and could hardly move.

“I have pneumonia now, but thankfully I did not need oxygen and have been able to breathe myself.

“The nurse told me that I should have been in hospital earlier than I was,” said Marie-Louise.

Marie-Louise believes that her family had been ‘over cautious’ when following the guidelines, and has warned others to comply to protect vulnerable people.

She continued, “My family were all impacted by this, and I was not deemed vulnerable or with any underlying conditions.

“We had been over cautious about the following the guidelines since March and I thought we would be safe from it but once someone in your house or work gets it, it is too late by the time they know they have it.

“All we can do is follow the guidelines and take this virus seriously.

“I do not know how anyone who is weak or vulnerable can go through those couple of weeks.

“The hospital is full of young people so we must follow the guidelines as this is a very serious illness,” concluded Marie-Louise.

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