A Scout leader who spent two months in an induced coma after contracting coronavirus has told how he has been left in a wheelchair.
Niall Williams, 48, from Fife, said he was a fit and healthy man before he caught the virus – but was left fighting for his life in intensive care after suffering multiple organ failure.
The engineer collapsed in March and was rushed to hospital where he suffered kidney, lung and heart failure, and had to be resuscitated by doctors.
Niall was put on a ventilator in an induced coma for two months and was stunned when he woke up and nurses told him it was June.
He said he was left unable to walk and described his painstaking recovery which left him needing dialysis. Medics have said they do not know what the long term effects of the virus will be on Niall, as he battles to regain his strength.
He said it frustrates him when he sees people not following the government restrictions and urged others not to underestimate the virus.
Niall, from Dalgety Bay, said: “I took ill as the lockdown kicked off.
“I was blue-lighted to hospital and put in an induced coma for two months.
“It was quite harrowing.
“I went through multiple organ failure and was resuscitated more than once.
“It was hard on my wife because of the ban on visiting.”
Prior to contracting coronavirus, Niall was active and regularly went camping, hiking and cycling.
But he woke up from his coma in June to find his muscles had depleted so much that he needed physiotherapy and was forced to rely on a wheelchair.
Niall said: “I was woken up from the coma and when the nurses said we were in June it blew my mind.
“Being in a coma that long, I’d lost nearly all my muscle and there was nerve damage to my hands and feet. Since then I’ve just been trying to build up my strength.
“Before I was ill, I was a very healthy and active outdoors person with no underlying illnesses.
“Being a Scout leader, I did multiple activities, like a lot of camping, bushcraft work, hiking and cycling, but now I can’t imagine when I’ll do that sort of stuff again.
“One of the hardest periods of the recovery is to learn what your body’s been through.
“When I came out from the ICU I was basically paralysed.
“It took a long time for movement and muscle to come back and the therapies helped me.
“Now I’m still reliant on a wheelchair.
“People might not appreciate how tired you get doing the simplest things.
“I could be watching TV and sitting upright tires me out and then I need to go for an afternoon nap.
“The thing is doctors don’t know what the long-term recovery will be like.
“I’m a very forward-thinking person and each day I’m doing different things to increase my strength and endurance.
“It frustrates me to see people who aren’t taking it seriously.
“I was a perfectly healthy person but got it hard.
“People should listen to what we’re being asked to do and work together.
“If we all do it and look after ourselves which will look after others, it’s the only way we’ll get rid of this disease.”