Fit and healthy Devon mum, 32, describes harrowing coronavirus ordeal


A mum-of-two who turned the primary coronavirus affected person to be handled at North Devon District Hospital has spoken about her harrowing ordeal with the COVID-19 virus.

Well being customer Jess Marchbank, 32, developed a light sore throat on the night of Friday, March 20.

However as she put her two younger youngsters to mattress on the household residence in Westward Ho! that evening, she mentioned her signs “got here on instantly”.

She ended up being rushed to hospital by paramedics and brought to a specifically made isolation cubicle the place she obtained oxygen remedy, blood exams, swabs and x-rays.



A stark picture of Jess receiving oxygen remedy in an remoted ward at North Devon District Hospital

Match and wholesome, she had no earlier underlying well being circumstances.

Regardless of being allowed to return residence yesterday, Jess says strolling and speaking are nonetheless troublesome on account of chest pains and a foul cough.

Talking about her signs on the Friday evening, former paediatric nurse Jess mentioned: “I had a slight sore throat Friday evening however nothing huge. Then as went to place youngsters to mattress It simply got here on instantly.

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“I had the worst headache ever. I could not see correctly, felt like I would been hit over the top. Like laser tattoo removing ache however in my head.

“Then it simply bought worse in a single day. I used to be crying in agony as my joints felt like they have been on fireplace.  My chest was killing me, I had a excessive temperature of 38.5 and a dry cough, nevertheless it wasn’t persistent.



Jess in her face masks returning residence to Westward Ho! after being transferred by an NHS ambulance

“I could not get away from bed if I would tried. I knew it was coronavirus as I would by no means felt something like this ache earlier than.”

Jess rang 111 as directed and so they mentioned they extremely suspected she had contracted coronavirus.

She mentioned: “We had already self-isolated as a household as per the rules, in order my husband managed the children, I stayed in mattress and slept all Saturday day and evening after which slept Sunday as effectively.

“The joint ache and headache eased off however the lethargy bought worse. Then I misplaced all style and scent.



Jess and her household at residence in Westward Ho! earlier than the coronavirus outbreak

“Sunday evening I had an episode the place my respiratory was impaired which shook me up. As a nurse I knew I used to be struggling to get oxygen in.

“This episode handed and I went to sleep. I needed to get checked out however I did not dare danger the opportunity of passing the bug on.”

On Monday Jess’ aches and headache lessened once more however the cough and tight chest bought worse.

She says she developed cyanosis (a blueish solid to the pores and skin), felt light-headed and dizzy as she was not getting sufficient oxygen.

She mentioned: “I used to be all mottled and could not catch a breath so we ended up calling 999 and being taken to A&E (at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple).

“The ambulance was tremendous fast. The employees on board have been superb, actually comical however caring of their method.  I used to be terrified to breathe on them. They put a masks on me, then an oxygen masks excessive.”

As soon as Jess arrived at A&E she was taken straight to a specifically made isolation cubicle inside the hospital.

She mentioned: “This was a bit scary however clearly mandatory. The employees have been phenomenal! I am unable to fault them. I had bloods, swabs, x-rays, a guide evaluation and a cup of tea all inside 40 minutes.



Jess and her household earlier than the coronavirus outbreak

“The employees have been ready, calm and picked up. They handled me with compassion, empathy and dignity. “

Jess was then transferred to a cubicle devoted to suspected COVID-19 instances.

She mentioned: “I had oxygen remedy in a single day and common checks by nursing employees and docs. I remained there until I used to be prepared for discharge residence.

“On account of my household all being in self isolation, the hospital organized transport for me.

“Truthfully, the care I obtained was second to none. I’ve nothing however reward for our stretched NHS.”

Jess was discharged yesterday and allowed to return residence to Westward Ho! and her household.

She says she nonetheless feels tough now and that strolling and speaking harm her chest and produce on matches of coughing.

She says she has no thought the place she contracted the sickness, including: “We had been working towards social distancing and good hand hygiene, nevertheless it’s like driving – you may drive as safely as you want, nevertheless it will not cease others driving too quick and crashing into you.



Jess and her husband on Westward Ho! seaside in happier occasions

“That is why it is so essential all of us comply with the rules. Keep inside! It isn’t definitely worth the danger!

“I nonetheless cannot get my head round all of it. It is like we live inside a Stephen King novel. These are such testing occasions for us all.

“We have got two youngsters underneath 5 years outdated, I do know it is arduous. However you realize what, we have to!

“Let’s attempt to profit from this further household time. Get inventive, dance, be foolish, draw on the pavements in chalk, have pillow fights, construct dens, plant seeds, make an inside assault course – do something however unfold this demise eater.

“A few of us, me included, like to push in opposition to authorities – however do not insurgent in opposition to the federal government recommendation, insurgent in opposition to this virus!  There’s a time to be cussed & rebellious – this isn’t it.

“However when it’s over, let’s be cussed about preserving our NHS.  Let’s be rebellious and demand our ‘keyworkers’ receives a commission WAY above the residing wage and let’s do not forget that all these individuals who our little communities have recognised as susceptible and/or remoted have been all alongside. 

“Let’s carry on being good communities lengthy after that is over.”





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