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Armagh man who survived coronavirus in plea against complacency

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NHS worker Charlie Agnew is recovering after contracting coronavirus

NHS worker Charlie Agnew is recovering after contracting coronavirus

NHS worker Charlie Agnew is recovering after contracting coronavirus

An Armagh healthcare worker who has battled and overcome Covid-19 has warned the public not to get complacent about the effects of the virus.

Charlie Agnew, who signed up as a member of the Armagh Covid-19 Response Committee when the health crisis began, is now recovering at home after almost two weeks struggling to beat coronavirus.

The committee is one of many similar online organisations set up around Northern Ireland to assist vulnerable members of the community and help people come together to battle the disease.

An NHS worker, Charlie had been one of the thousands on the frontline putting their own health at risk to care for others.

But he found himself struck down by the disease which has so far claimed close to 200 lives in Northern Ireland.

After 12 days in isolation he was eventually admitted to Craigavon Area Hospital before beating the virus.

Charlie is one of the lucky ones who have survived after contracting coronavirus and now - having come through the toughest battle of his life - he has urged people to maintain strict social distancing guidelines or risk putting themselves and others at risk.

In an open and honest account of his experience, he has taken to social media from his home to tell how he had been left fighting to breathe and fearing for his family.

He said it is not something which anybody would wish to go through.

"Just a wee reminder to not allow the passage of time and complacency slip in to our fight against coronavirus," he said in a video recorded for the Armagh Covid-19 Response Committee's Facebook page.

"Having experienced this horrible disease at first hand I can tell you it's an experience that no-one wants to see.

"After 12 days of isolation I was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital by ambulance and needed four days of assistance to breathe.

"The stress this put on my body was unbelievable but a less obvious stress is the stress that it put on my family.

"Nobody needs added stress at this horrible time.

"So we have a very simple choice to make and that is to abide by the rules. Stay safe, social distancing, stay at home, wash your hands. Enjoy time with your family.

"Or alternatively you can go about your ordinary day life and do not adhere to the rules. By doing this you will put yourself, your family and your community at risk.

"You also put untold pressure on frontline services, the NHS, the volunteers, the key workers, who go out every day to try and help us.

"You have two options. Option one - adhere to the rules. Be safe, protect your family, protect your community and save lives.

"Or option two - do not adhere to the rules and put everybody at risk.

"This is a no-brainer. I ask you all now from the bottom of my heart to adhere to the rules, stay together and let's fight this together.

"If we fight it together we will win and we will come out the other side."

Belfast Telegraph