Dave Hunt, a London software salesperson, stayed in the same hospital ICU as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson while sick with COVID-19.
Hunt recounted his experience there, which included being placed on a ventilator and seeing another patient take his last breaths.
Days before doctors discharged UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson from the hospital, a London resident who was in the same intermediate care unit as Johnson shared his own experience being treated for COVID-19.
Dave Hunt, a 38-year-old software salesperson, told SkyNews he spent 10 days at St. Thomas’ Hospital, the same hospital where Johnson received care.
Hunt was discharged from the hospital before Johnson arrived there on April 5, and described his time there as “absolutely horrible” because of the severity of cases around him.
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“You see people die,” Hunt told Sky News.
The first four days Hunt was at the hospital, he stayed in the ICU where healthcare workers placed him on a ventilator because he couldn’t breathe on his own.
In preparation for the ventilator, medical staff told Hunt he would be asleep for anywhere from five to 10 days.
“For me, that was it. I rang my brother and told him the password to my computer where my will is,” Hunt said.
But Hunt woke up two days later amidst what he described as “organized chaos” because alarms were constantly going off as patients’ health deteriorated.
“I thought am I alive? Am I dead? I was clearly alive but I had this fifteen inch tube down my throat and I couldn’t talk,” Hunt said.
Now Hunt is back at home in his London apartment and has recovered from COVID-19. But he still remembers his time in the ICU, and later the high dependency ward of the hospital, as an eye-opening experience.
“It has affected me mentally,” Hunt said of his experience watching a man in his ward “take his last breaths.”
Hunt said his experience was likely different than the one Johnson had, given his status, despite the fact they stayed in the same ICU.
“Boris Johnson will be in good care,” Hunt said. “He’ll have a dedicated nurse checking his oxygen stats levels are up… and he’ll be sat there getting at much air into his lungs as possible.”
Johnson left St. Thomas’ Hospital on April 12 after doctors discharged him, Insider previously reported.
The prime minister is not yet returning to work, and instead in continuing his recovery at his country home in Chequers.
On Twitter, Johnson thanked the healthcare workers who tended to him while in the hospital.
—Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 12, 2020
“I want to thank everyone in the entire UK for the effort and the sacrifice you have made and are making,” Johnson said. “When the sun is out and the kids are home; when the whole natural world seems at its loveliest and the outdoors is so inviting, I can only imagine how tough it has been to follow the rules on social distancing.”