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A father-of-one, who was ‘sceptical’ about Covid, had to learn how to walk and talk again after spending six weeks fighting for his life on a ventilator.

Anthony Simms, from South Bank, Middlesbrough, suffered from respiratory and kidney failure after contracting coronavirus in December last year.

The 48-year-old’s health deteriorated so much that his partner Alison Penketh, 50, was told she may have to say goodbye – but she couldn’t make it to the hospital as she too was sick with the virus.

Fortunately, Anthony pulled through but when he woke up he had to learn to talk and walk again with the help of physiotherapy.

Anthony Simms, 48, (pictured) from South Bank, Middlesbrough caught Covid over Christmas last year and spent four months in hospital after suffered from respiratory and kidney failure

Anthony Simms, 48, (pictured) from South Bank, Middlesbrough caught Covid over Christmas last year and spent four months in hospital after suffered from respiratory and kidney failure

Anthony Simms, 48, (pictured) from South Bank, Middlesbrough caught Covid over Christmas last year and spent four months in hospital after suffered from respiratory and kidney failure

He spent three months at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough before being transferred to Redcar Primary Care Hospital in Redcar for a further month.

Eight months on, Anthony is still relying on oxygen and a walker to move around. He also suffers from nerve damage to the top of his feet and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Anthony, who is father to Joe, 14, said: ‘It’s nothing to joke about.

‘I was sceptical about it – until it happens to yourself you don’t know. I was in hospital for four months.

‘Everything was a challenge – getting off the ventilator, learning to talk, then physio. I also found out I had bed sores.

‘I just wish it never happened. I’m still struggling with it now.

Within 12 hours of him arriving on ward one of the hospital, the father-of-one was transferred to the ICU and spent six weeks fighting for his life on a ventilator (pictured in hospital)

Within 12 hours of him arriving on ward one of the hospital, the father-of-one was transferred to the ICU and spent six weeks fighting for his life on a ventilator (pictured in hospital)

Within 12 hours of him arriving on ward one of the hospital, the father-of-one was transferred to the ICU and spent six weeks fighting for his life on a ventilator (pictured in hospital)

‘Even when I am going up and down stairs I have got to take oxygen with me.’

Anthony began to suffer from aches and pains on Christmas Eve last year.

On December 29, he rang 999 after almost collapsing and was rushed to the hospital on Marton Road.

Prior to being diagnosed with Covid-19, Anthony admits he had doubts about it and how quickly it had spread across the world.

He said: ‘I did believe it was a virus, I just couldn’t believe how quickly it got around and how there was a vaccine a year later.

‘On December 24 I contracted the virus. It was just aches and pains nothing else.

‘On the 29th I came down stairs and stood on the front, then came back in and my legs just went from underneath me. I didn’t fall to the floor, I managed to get a hold of the banister. ‘

His health deteriorated so much that his partner Alison Penketh, 50, (pictured left) was told she may have to say goodbye but she couldn't come to the hospital as she had Covid herself

His health deteriorated so much that his partner Alison Penketh, 50, (pictured left) was told she may have to say goodbye but she couldn't come to the hospital as she had Covid herself

His health deteriorated so much that his partner Alison Penketh, 50, (pictured left) was told she may have to say goodbye but she couldn’t come to the hospital as she had Covid herself

Anthony said it was the paramedic who told him he had coronavirus after discovering that his oxygen level had dropped to 83.

Within 12 hours of him arriving on ward one of the hospital, he was transferred to the ICU.

Anthony said: ‘The next thing they come around saying you are going to be put on a ventilator.

‘I was on 80% oxygen, I thought I was doing all right, I just couldn’t understand it.

‘I wasn’t scared – if it needed to be done it needed to be done.

‘I said my girlfriend needs to know. She wasn’t able to see me at all. The last time she saw me I was going in the ambulance.’

Anthony said that his health deteriorated even more and his family were told to expect the worst.

Prior to being diagnosed with Covid, he admits he had doubts about the virus and how quickly it had spread across the world. Now, Anthony is on the road to recovery but has had to learn to talk again and walk with the help of physiotherapy

Prior to being diagnosed with Covid, he admits he had doubts about the virus and how quickly it had spread across the world. Now, Anthony is on the road to recovery but has had to learn to talk again and walk with the help of physiotherapy

Prior to being diagnosed with Covid, he admits he had doubts about the virus and how quickly it had spread across the world. Now, Anthony is on the road to recovery but has had to learn to talk again and walk with the help of physiotherapy 

He said: ‘Alison got a phone call saying she might have to come and say her goodbyes.

‘She couldn’t come up as she had covid herself, our son was 13 at the time. It’s been hard on him as well.

‘They said “we’re going to try everything to save him”.

‘It seems like I must have passed away and they have brought me back.’

Anthony said that when he woke up after six weeks on a ventilator he was unable to talk or move.

He said it took weeks before he was able to move and stand up again.

Anthony said: ‘I had to learn how to walk and talk again.

‘At first I couldn’t talk. If I wrote something down it was a load of mumbo jumbo, it didn’t make any sense.

Despite returning home in April this year, he is still struggling with his breathing and also suffers from nerve damage to the top of his feet and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Despite returning home in April this year, he is still struggling with his breathing and also suffers from nerve damage to the top of his feet and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Despite returning home in April this year, he is still struggling with his breathing and also suffers from nerve damage to the top of his feet and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

‘When lifting me up, my head just went totally dizzy. It was a long process to get from sitting to standing, it sort of wore off.

‘I went from James Cook to Redcar Primary Care, I was still like that when I got there but not as bad.’

Anthony said that although he was able to return home in April this year, he is still struggling with his breathing.

He said Alison has also been suffering from long covid but plans to return to her replenishment role at B&M in Eston.

Anthony has thanked Alison, Joe, the paramedics, the staff at both hospitals as well as South Grange Medical Centre on the Trunk Road for their help and support.

He added: ‘The staff are working angels, I can’t thank them enough.

‘I’m grateful to them all and they all know that.’

Source: dailymail

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