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So scary Young mum says she feared for her life and that of her unborn baby after contracting Covid

Aoife McGrath (25) described her battle with Covid-19 as "the scariest experience" of her life


Aoife McGrath

Aoife McGrath

Aoife McGrath

A young mum-to-be has told how she feared for her life and that of her unborn baby after contracting Covid.

Aoife McGrath (25) stared death in the face as the virus ravaged her body leaving her unable to walk or breathe.

She described her battle with Covid-19 as "the scariest experience" of her life.

Aoife was admitted to Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital a number of weeks ago when her condition deteriorated drastically, developing pneumonia in both lungs.

She was admitted to the High Dependency Unit, alone without a loved one to hold her hand.

She didn't get vaccinated because she was pregnant, which was the advice at the onset of the pandemic - advice which has since been reversed.


Aoife McGrath

Aoife McGrath

Aoife McGrath

"There is nothing worse than the feeling of drowning, that you can't breathe. My air in-take wasn't reaching the bottom of my lungs. It was so scary," she said this week.

"This was the scariest experience of my life and what made it worse was that I couldn't have anyone with me throughout my hospital stay.

"Anyone who knows me knows how anxious I was, I didn't only have me to worry about myself but my baby also."

Following a long-month battle, Aoife is currently on the mend yet she still feels the side-effects of the killer virus.

She is due on November 10 and has since been vaccinated.

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"I caught Covid in July and like most people, I had mild symptoms for the first few days and was doing okay; the worst part was the isolation in that great weather we had.

"Then on the Wednesday evening before my isolation was due to be over I became extremely breathless and could only walk a few steps before having to stop and catch my breath, as I felt my lungs were closing. I suffered at home for six days before giving in to go to the hospital to be checked out."

Upon arrival at Altnagelvin, a number of tests were carried out and the Sion Mills girl was administered with high levels of oxygen.

"At 25 years old and needing a catheter fitted I realised how sick I actually was. I was that sick at times I couldn't even think about being pregnant. I was just unaware of how badly I would be affected.

"At the start I didn't think my life was in danger. I thought that by being in hospital I'd be safe and they'd help me. But the doctors told me afterwards that they were worried for my life when I was admitted."

Aoife wasn't admitted to intensive care because she had responded well to the oxygen yet she now appreciates how lucky she was.

"It was horrendous. It took that experience to show me that Covid is a lot worse than any vaccine could be. I still haven't returned to work because I'm not fit.

"If I'm walking to the shop I have to stop because I still get breathless. But I'm definitely getting there. Each day is making me stronger. But the doctors have said it will take a while yet for my own body to recover."

Urging other young people to take heed of the dangers the coronavirus poses, Aoife added: "Nothing is worse than getting the virus. Whatever madness people are saying about getting the vaccines - that you don't know what you're putting into your body - nothing could be worse than what I went through.

"I, like a lot of people before my experience of actually having Covid, thought, 'I will be grand, sure I'm only young'. I was so wrong.

"Thankfully my outcome was good and my lungs responded well and I got home for care with my family. But others have not been as lucky as me.

"Please, please get your vaccines folks. I too was sceptical.

"I've been told that 99 per cent of people who are in ICU at the minute are people who haven't been vaccinated."

"Definitely, once I can have my vaccine, I'll be getting it."

Earlier this week a former TUV councillor, father-of-four Andrew Girvin (48), revealed how he had narrowly survived Covid after he had refused the vaccine.

His friend, former DUP mayor of Newtownabbey and Castlereagh Paul Hamill (46), a father of two, died of Covid a week earlier. He had been an outspoken anti-vaxxer.

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