My Covid-19 recovery: 'I had to dig deep to pull through'

Published Jun 25, 2020


CAPE TOWN- "This disease is not to be taken lightly, especially for people with underlying conditions like myself. This was incredibly challenging, and I had to dig deep to be able to recover from Covid-19. This is where my mind took over and really pulled me through."

These are the sentiments of 49-year-old Covid-19 survivor from Port Elizabeth, Gavin Biggs. He is a husband, father of two and is a director at City Paint & Tool.

Biggs suspects that he was infected on Tuesday, June 2, when he visited his doctor.

"It could have been something as simple as touching a chair in the doctor's consulting room and when I got back into the car and took my mask off, I must have touched my mouth," he said.

On Friday, June 5, Biggs said he showed his first symptoms of Covid-19. "I never suspected at first that I had Covid-19 because I never showed all the symptoms. I never had a temperature and I never got diarrhoea. I thought it was just the flu. But I noticed the first symptoms was aching joints and severe headaches," he said.

After a weekend of symptoms, Biggs, who is a chronic asthmatic, went back to his doctor on Monday, June 8, where he was diagnosed with bronchitis. His doctor also suggested that he be tested for Covid-19 at the drive-thru testing facility.

"I was out of breath, I couldn't string five words together without trying to get some breath. It was one of the biggest signs that there was something wrong with me," said Biggs.

Thursday, June 11, Biggs was tested and the following day was admitted to Netcare Greenacres Hospital.

"On Friday evening, June 12, my doctor phoned me to tell me that I had tested positive for Covid-19. It was the first time I realised that I was at risk because I was really struggling with my breathing at that stage and I was already on a nebuliser to stabilise my breathing," he said emotionally.

Biggs was placed in the Covid-19 ward where he spent the following six days recovering. "The hospital was almost a war-zone, you could see it was a pandemic," he said.

On Thursday, June 18, Biggs' doctor had informed him that he was well enough to return home.

"I hadn't seen my family or friends for a number of days. When I was at home, I was able to drop my guard and understand that I had overcome the disease and that I could integrate back with my family."

"We all need social interaction, but from my experience, I would encourage everyone, especially those who are vulnerable that they be extremely careful of social gatherings and follow all the protocols such as wearing masks and using hand sanitizers," he said.

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