David's story is a Covid warning

David MacLennan would have been one of the last people you would have expected to experience series problems after contracting Covid.

By Murray MacLeod
Friday, 30th April 2021, 12:00 am
David MacLennan on his croft in Gress. He's fit and healthy now, but it's not that long ago it was a different story
David MacLennan on his croft in Gress. He's fit and healthy now, but it's not that long ago it was a different story

The 54-year-old is fit and healthy, loved the outdoors and had no underlying health conditions. Then Covid hit and it all went rapidly downhill.

Back in February, his wife Catriona, a nurse practitioner at Western Isles Hopsital in Stornoway tested positive and “despite taking every precaution you can” it passed to David.

“As the week went on, my temperatures and fever got worse, my throat got very painful, I developed nausea and lost my appetite, my sense of taste changed (everything tasted the same) and lost my energy – walking from the bedroom to the bathroom was as much as I could do,” he said.

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His symptons progressively “got worse and my oxygen saturation levels started to drop” and was admitted to hospital and flown to Raigmore the following day. "I have to confess that came as a shock to the system for someone who has never been in hospital before. It was a wild day, so wild that the air ambulance couldn’t fly, so I was taken across by helicopter instead.”

He was in the high dependency unit in Raigmore and “had to spend a lot of time lying face down to help get my lungs get working properly again”. After five days he was able to return to the ward.

His recovery was painfully slow, but he is now looking forward to getting back to work as Nature Scotland area manager for Argyll and the Outer Isles (formerly SNH) and getting “out on the hills and lochs again”

He said: “I’ve heard that my experience has had an impact on quite a lot of people – ‘how can that happen to someone as young, fit and healthy as David?’ I laughed every time I heard that.

"However, it just shows you that Covid doesn’t care who you are, how old you are, how healthy you are – if you are unlucky, like me, it can make you seriously unwell – or worse. It affects people in many different ways.”

He concluded: “Everyone needs to carry on doing everything we can to get on top of the virus and minimise the chance of catching or spreading it.”