"There's so much I want to achieve." 28-year-old COVID-19 patient's message to young people.

A 28-year-old man who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 has shared a desperate plea for all young people from his hospital bed at Kerry General Hospital in Ireland.

“I caught the coronavirus in London. I had no symptoms. I tried to avoid a potential lockdown in London so I could be at home with my mother,” Michael Prendergast told Sky News.

“I arrived home on the 16th of March, on Monday, and by Tuesday I had horrific shortness of breath, an extremely hot temperature. By Wednesday it had exacerbated.”

Prendergast explained he has now been in hospital for five days, and says there is a dangerous misconception amongst the general public that COVID-19 is akin to the flu.

Prendergast says the illness, which originated in Wuhan, China, has almost killed him.

At the time of reporting, on March 24, coronavirus has killed over 16,000, and infected almost 400,000 worldwide.

Side note… three women on what lockdown feels like around the world. Post continues after audio. 

The young man, who is an asthmatic, added that his suffering from coronavirus has been “indescribable”.

“It will come in waves. I could feel poorly but then I would get a wave that would last four or five hours that would be the most intense, overwhelming feeling,” he explained.

“I was shaking and by Wednesday night, I was having convulsions in bed… I would’ve never imagined I would have been so sick.”

“It has been an ordeal that I will never forget and it brought about a lot of existential questions, being trapped in this isolated room,” the 28-year-old reflected.

“And I thought, if my life ends now, have I been a good person? And have I done enough in my life? There’s still so much I want to achieve.”

The 28-year-old had a specific message for young people, too, saying: “If you don’t get affected as bad as I have, I guarantee you that your parents, or your aunts and uncles, or your grandparents are going to be.


“This virus is a killer. I just hope that I can raise some awareness and just try and help…

“It has been harrowing. It’s indescribable. This is just a warning to anyone out there.”

He further criticised people who were defying the strict social distancing instructions implemented by governments around the world by going to pubs, clubs and beaches where they would be in contact with hundreds of other people.

Prendergast pleaded for people to realise the severity of the pandemic now, rather than waiting until someone they know contracted the deadly disease.

The 28-year-old is one of many young people who have contracted the disease, despite the common (but false) belief that young people won’t suffer from symptoms of coronavirus.

Australian woman Bridget Wilkins, 29, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March after flying from London to Brisbane, via Singapore, for her best friend’s wedding.

She shared her experience with ABC’s 7:30, explaining her suffering deteriorated around days eight to 10.

“I became very, very fatigued and I had quite intense headaches and a level of chest pain,” Wilkins said.

“I felt like I was 80 years old. I thought of my grandmother at that moment.

“I recognised how hard it may be for her generally but also if she was to have a condition like coronavirus.”

In Australia, nearly 2,000 people have contracted the deadly disease, with the death toll now at eight people.

Read more about COVID-19:

The Australian Government Department of Health advises that the only people who will be tested for COVID-19 are those with symptoms who have either returned from overseas in the past 14 days or been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days.

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

Feature Image: Twitter/Sky News.

The current situation around COVID-19 might be making you feel scared or uncertain. It’s okay to feel this way, but it’s also important to learn how to manage feelings of anxiety during this time. To download the free PDF: Anxiety & Coronavirus – How to Manage Feelings of Anxiety click here.

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