A Dons talent scout has described the “terrifying” moment he was put on a ventilator as medics battled to save his life.
Father-of-two Paul Clark was rushed to hospital after he began struggling to breathe, a week after first developing a fever.
Once there, tests and a chest X-ray confirmed the 40-year-old had coronavirus and that it was affecting his lungs.
Mr Clark is a scout for Aberdeen FC’s Youth Academy and describes himself as fit and active despite having asthma, but said even before the diagnosis, he knew he had Covid-19.
“I thought I had it anyway,” he said. “Then I got worse over the weekend and had to phone NHS24 at 5am.
“I contacted them on March 16 and then my wife phoned back the next day and I was admitted.
“I had a fever and a high temperature the week before I went in and I was really shivery.
“Then I started to feel better but by the weekend I was bad again.
“I kept having coughing fits and wasn’t feeling great – my chest was really tight and I was struggling to catch a breath.”
Staff at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee told Mr Clark, who is married to Lori, that it was one of the “worst cases” they had seen.
“It went straight to my lungs and I have asthma,” he said. “It’s quite bad if you catch the virus with asthma, you can die.”
Mr Clark spent time in the coronavirus, trauma and high dependency wards before being transferred to intensive care, where he was told he would be put on a ventilator.
Last night, he described it as a “scary moment” and admitted it was even worse as he could not see his wife or sons, Liam, 17, and Luke, 10, beforehand – and was so ill he could not use his mobile phone to even speak to them.
“To be ventilated and know you might not wake up is really scary and I wasn’t able to have any contact with my family,” he said.
“I said to the staff, ‘please if you switch me on to this thing, please get me off of it, please.’ The nurse was holding my hand and she said to me ‘we will’. It was so scary.”
However Mr Clark’s condition improved and he was discharged on April 1.
He is now continuing to recover at home in Dundee, with his appetite returning which he hopes will allow him to build up some strength and boost his energy levels.
Mr Clark, who is a maintenance worker at Ninewells, praised the medical team and said they “couldn’t have done more” to treat him.
And as he and his family continue to isolate and follow the government guidelines, he urged others to follow the lockdown rules.
“You’ve just got to do it or it’s going to get worse,” he said. “We’re doing it as a family and we’re struggling.
“I haven’t be able to see my mum or sister, I can’t even see my family and I’ve been through it.
“Seeing people down in England having barbecues and crowding in parks is ridiculous.”
Aberdeen FC chairman Dave Cormack tweeted his good wishes to Mr Clark and said: “We at the AFC family are so thankful Paul has pulled through, and to the NHS for saving his life.
“Be safe and be healthy.”