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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

COVID-19: Elderly man tests positive for 305 days

An elderly man has spoken about his experience with Covid-19 after having the virus for 305 days, which is thought to be the longest Covid-19 case ever recorded. Dave Smith (72) told his story on the BBC, stating that he was ready to die and give up on life.

The retired driving instructor from Bristol talked about how he coughed for five hours straight while adding, “if you can imagine the drain that puts on your body,”. His wife Lynda was concerned about the condition that he was in, she stated that there were “a lot of times we didn’t think he was going to pull through.”

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He originally fell ill last year and was admitted to hospital in May 2020 with a cough and fever. Following a PCR test, it was later confirmed that he had Covid-19.

Smith stated that he had a compromised immune system which made him more prone to severe illness from Covid-19.

While speaking to The Guardian, Smith stated, “Whenever I went bad, I went really bad – down to death’s door. My wife started to arrange a funeral five times.” He added that his weight had drastically decreased while he was ill, dropping from 117kg to 64kg as a result of his lack of appetite. 

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“At one point, I was bedridden for two or three months. My wife had to wash and shave me in bed because I just couldn’t stand up.”

He jokingly stated, “I called all the family in to make my peace with them. I wish I’d kept my mouth shut now.”

After Smith was admitted to hospital in May 2020, he was discharged eight days later but required further hospital treatment from August to December due to significant breathlessness and interspersed acute deteriorations associated with a fever.

He was successfully treated with laboratory-engineered antibodies, according to the University of Bristol. His health had dramatically improved and the virus was not detected 45 days after his treatment.

It was noted that Smith had a history of a condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis which caused inflammation in the lung tissue, he also suffered from chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Consultant in infectious diseases at North Bristol NHS Trust Dr. Ed Moran said that cases like this are rare while adding, “However, it is important that we find a way to access and develop treatment regimens for these individuals both for the well being of the individual and to protect public health.”

Upon testing negative for Covid-19, Smith stated that he celebrated with a bottle of champagne.

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