Anne Marie Cray was struck down with Coronavirus (COVID-19) in March, which left her in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit at Southmead Hospital.
After her recovery from the virus, she rallied her friends and family to walk the virtual equivalent of Mount Kilimanjaro (62km), raising more than £4,000 for our Coronavirus Appeal.
Now she is taking part in North Bristol NHS Trust’s vital Coronavirus research, funded with the help of your donations.
I’m writing as someone who is recovering from Coronavirus. It has touched many of us in different ways and it’s been life-changing. Coronavirus started as a simple cough. In March I quickly developed a fever, terrible muscle pains and a headache.
I was having difficulty breathing and felt terribly unwell. Worse than I ever have before. Thankfully, my daughter rang for an ambulance and I was admitted to Southmead Hospital.
I was fighting for every breath and within days I was taken to the Intensive Care Unit. I was ventilated for nine days and put in an induced coma for seven days. I was frightened and didn’t know if I’d ever see my family again.
The care I received was phenomenal. I never felt alone. I remember kind eyes, my hand being held, and even my hair being stroked.
The NHS staff showed me photos of my children and played my favourite music – all the time putting their own lives at risk. Thank you isn’t enough.
I’m now on the road to recovery and it is thanks to the team of specialists at Southmead Hospital that I am still here. The NHS undoubtedly saved my life for which I will always be eternally grateful.
I am now part of the DISCOVER research project being led here in Bristol. I know that research is critical in fighting the debilitating effects of Coronavirus. COVID-19 research is being carried out right here on our doorsteps, at Southmead Hospital.
We need to find solutions to save lives today and my experience has convinced me that research is critical so that we can continue to help those with this disease.
This research will look into possible tests for Coronavirus, the complications the virus can cause, and crucially, work to advance potential drug treatments for it.
Researchers are working alongside doctors and nurses on the frontline to give our NHS clinicians right here in Bristol better ways of treating people who have Coronavirus and helping them with their recovery.
The research will also look at why and for how long patients with Coronavirus remain unwell, so that we can better understand, and plan for, long term treatments.
We need your help to ensure this essential work can happen. While there may still be uncertainties around vaccine development for the future, we need to find solutions today that will save lives.
Join me in helping to ensure we can fight Coronavirus. I have no idea how I got ill, or where I caught the virus.
We are all vulnerable, and your support will help put us in a stronger position.
I hope that by sharing my story with you, you will consider supporting this vital work.”
Anne Marie Cray