An 84-year-old coronavirus patient being treated on the ward where the first people in the UK to test positive were cared for said he never thought he would end up there when he heard the news a year ago.
Edward Willsher, who served in the British Army for 24 years, was feeling better just two days after being admitted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle.
He was being treated with oxygen and a trial drug on the high consequence infectious diseases ward which 12 months ago treated the UK’s first two patients.
The PA news agency was allowed access to his room after donning PPE.
Mr Willsher, from the Westerhope area of the city, was admitted on Wednesday after he felt breathless and his wife contacted medics.
He was swiftly brought in to the RVI, and said: “I was feeling absolutely dreadful, I would hate anyone to feel like I felt.
“Now I’m feeling 300% better than I did.”
Just a few days ago he felt very ill, saying: “I wouldn’t have cared if I died.”
Already getting his appetite back, sitting up out of bed and with two novels his wife Margaret brought in for him, Mr Willsher, a father-of-two who was originally from Writtle, Essex, said he hoped to be able to go home next week.
He was full of praise for the care he received on the specialist unit, saying: “I remember the two patients being brought in here last year because I heard it on the radio.
“You wondered then what was going to happen, never realising I would be here myself.
“I never thought I would end up here.”