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Father says new Covid treatment helped him recover to see daughter’s big match

Mike Flynn with his daughter Nicole (Family handout/PA)
Mike Flynn with his daughter Nicole (Family handout/PA)

A leukaemia sufferer has told how a new antiviral Covid treatment helped him recover from the virus in time to see his daughter score a try in a rugby final at Murrayfield.

People with Covid-19 who have certain medical conditions and are thought to be at greater risk from the virus are being offered new treatments to help manage symptoms and reduce more serious illness.

Mike Flynn, 65, who lives in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, was eligible for the medication as he has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and a compromised immune system.

The martial arts teacher went for a Covid-19 test after waking up feeling unwell on the morning of March 21 and contacted the NHS helpline after receiving a positive result the next day as he had previously received a letter saying he might be eligible for treatment.

Mr Flynn said: “By half-one, a courier had delivered the medication direct to my house and I took the first dose straight away. By the next morning I still had a sore throat but all my other symptoms had gone and I began feeling a lot better and could feel the benefit of the pills. It was magic.

“From start to finish, the process of getting this new treatment and then quick results of taking that treatment was easy. It was the perfect experience.

“There were two different types of pills that I had to take for five days, three pills in the morning and then three pills in the evening for a five-day course of treatment.”

The 65-year-old was given the anti-viral treatment paxlovid.

Mr Flynn took lateral flow tests on days six and seven which were both negative and meant he could watch his 16-year-old daughter playing in a rugby cup final at Murrayfield in Edinburgh and return to teaching martial arts.

He said: “My daughter Nicole plays rugby for Stirling County under-18 team and the national under-18 team. They were in the under-18 cup final against Edinburgh Harlequins and she scored the first try in a 69-12 win. That was nice to see.

“The following week she came off the bench to score the winning try for Scotland under-18s against Italy.

“It was a lucky break I was able to come out of Covid isolation in time to see my daughter score a try in the final. I think that was down to the treatment too for helping me recover so quickly.”

Mr Flynn is originally from the island of Alameda, near Oakland in the San Francisco Bay area of the US, but has lived in Cumbernauld since 2005.

The Scottish Government has sent letters to people letting them know that because of the conditions they have, they may be eligible to receive one of the new treatments available for Covid-19.

In North and South Lanarkshire more than 800 people have received treatment since December 2021.

Mr Flynn, whose wife Julie is an advanced nurse practitioner at University Hospital Wishaw, said: “I had a great result and the process was so easy. I would encourage others who get the letter and qualify for treatment to take up the opportunity.”

Dr Lucy Munro, medical director for Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire, said: “These new treatments can help make Covid symptoms less severe, make complications less likely and are important in protecting people with very weakened immune systems.”

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