| 12.9°C Belfast

Rule breakers putting medics' lives at risk, says Belfast nurse who battled virus and pneumonia

Close

Michelle Montgomery is now recovering at home in Newtownabbey

Michelle Montgomery is now recovering at home in Newtownabbey

Michelle Montgomery is now recovering at home in Newtownabbey

Michelle Montgomery is now recovering at home in Newtownabbey

Michelle Montgomery is now recovering at home in Newtownabbey

A Belfast nurse who fought through Covid-19 and a secondary infection of double pneumonia says it is unacceptable that some people in Northern Ireland are beginning to ignore the Government's guidelines.

Michelle Montgomery, who is now recovering at home in Newtownabbey, made a passionate plea for the public to heed the warnings issued by health officials.

In an emotional social media post, the nurse said she had "never been more scared in her life" as she struggled to breathe in hospital.

She also voiced fears that some people were choosing to break social distancing guidelines too early, risking a second wave of the virus.

"I was waiting to see if I was going to be intubated as my oxygen levels would not rise when I was admitted to hospital. I've never been as scared in my life," she explained.

Michelle was admitted to hospital on April 15 and went home on April 21.

"Firstly, it was just a sore throat and common cold symptoms, then a few days later the cough started and finally it felt like trying to gasp a breath through a sponge," she said.

Those who don't stick to the rules are putting nurses, doctors and other key frontline workers and their families at risk by not staying at home. The death toll, including for key staff, is too high Michelle Montgomery

"The morning I was blue-lighted into hospital I really did think I would not see my family again.

"Knowing as a nurse what the paramedic's clinical observations for me (meant) and by the fact they radioed through to Antrim Area Hospital, I knew that it wasn't good.

"I took a secondary infection of double pneumonia and the last few days for me have not been great again.

Close

Michelle Montgomery is now recovering at home in Newtownabbey

Michelle Montgomery is now recovering at home in Newtownabbey

Michelle Montgomery is now recovering at home in Newtownabbey

"But I'm one of the lucky ones who got home, so I'm not going to complain.

"Everyone appears to be getting a bit more relaxed when it comes to social distancing.

"I'm a nurse and got this through my job and all I think about constantly is how the risk of me spreading it to my family was and still is unacceptable, especially when people are not sticking to the government's guidelines.

We haven't even hit the second peak yet, but the posts I've seen on Facebook from parties and family gatherings is insane Michelle Montgomery

"Those who don't stick to the rules are putting nurses, doctors and other key frontline workers and their families at risk by not staying at home. The death toll, including for key staff, is too high.

"Please don't ignore what is being advised. I know it's tough and hard and you feel lonely and bored, but the longer the rules are not followed, the longer this is going to go on.

"We haven't even hit the second peak yet, but the posts I've seen on Facebook from parties and family gatherings is insane.

"(It's going to take me) eight weeks to recover. I'm still on antibiotics, with other complications being treated, and I need to be careful with my heart.

"At least I'm home with my family, who at one point I thought I would never see again."

Belfast Telegraph