A family of three who all work in the same hospital have all recovered from Covid-19.
Aryen Roxas, 22, a surgical nurse at King’s College Hospital, who had to isolate with her sick mother and father, is warning others not to take the risk of catching the virus lightly.
Aryen, from Camberwell, was able to return to work and was transferred to a Covid-19 ward, treating patients going through what she had been through.
She had developed a fever and a cough in March, and began self-isolating at home, and soon tested positive for coronavirus.
She took every precaution possible in the two-bedroom flat she shares with her parents.
But her mother and father, who also work at King’s College Hospital (KCH), also caught it.
Ayren said: “It was a truly horrible experience, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I’m a fit and healthy 22-year-old, but I became really ill.
“I had severe aches and pains, a terrible sore throat and struggled to sleep. But the worst thing was worrying about my mum and dad. My mum has diabetes, and the last thing I wanted was to make her sick as well as me.
“I barely left my bedroom. My mum and dad left my meals outside my door, and when I did need to go to the bathroom, I sterilised everything I touched.
“I felt like a prisoner, but I wanted to keep my family as safe as possible.”
But just as Aryen began to recover from Covid-19, her mother Esme started to show symptoms of the virus.
Esme, 49, a sister at KCH, said: “It was a terrifying time. The three of us were confined in our flat, bracing ourselves for the virus.
“My symptoms were very different to Aryen. I had an awful headache and I could barely eat, which made my diabetes much, much worse.
“Aryen called paramedics out to check me over at one point, as my chest pains were so severe.
“Looking back on it, it felt like we came to the brink of death. I feel blessed that we are all alive now.
“Even though the lockdown is easing, we’re still being as careful as we possibly can. It scares me so much when I see people behaving as though there’s nothing to be afraid of. Covid-19 is incredibly dangerous.”
Aryen’s father, Arnold Roxas, a healthcare assistant at KCH, also developed Covid-19 and was hospitalised for two days, before his condition began to improve.
Aryen made a full recovery and returned to work, where she was redeployed to work on a Covid-19 ward.
She said: “I had no idea what to expect: I was anxious about taking on a role that could expose my family to the virus all over again.
“But I’d cared for both my mum and dad and helped them overcome Covid-19, and it was time for me to do the same for my patients.
“Seeing more people recover from the virus has been extremely rewarding, but it has been devastating to see how many patients have become severely ill as a result of Covid-19.
“As more public places are re-opening, I’d urge everyone to keep following the government guidelines to stay safe – this virus has already caused so much heartbreak, please don’t take it lightly.”
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