Crusaders' star hitman Jordan Owens has revealed how his entire body was ravaged by Covid-19 this season.
In an exclusive interview with Sunday Life Sport, the 32-year-old frontman explains the impact the deadly coronavirus had on him as a fit and healthy sportsman, along with his family.
"I got up at midnight to go to the toilet and I couldn't walk," states Owens, a key figure in Stephen Baxter's Crusaders team.
Covid-19 struck Owens just three days before Christmas and laid him so low that their traditional family festivities, including dinner, were in jeopardy until his club stepped in to help.
The gifted target man from Ballysillan has since made a full recovery but reveals the full extent of contracting the virus that has to date claimed 3.26m lives worldwide.
"I got it bad, really bad," he explains.
"I'm not one for lying in bed, but I couldn't get up for four days solid.
"I remember it was the Tuesday before Christmas, I got home from work and developed a headache. I don't take tablets so I went to bed early and thought it would pass.
"But then I got up to go to the toilet around midnight and I couldn't walk! I was completely drained of energy and it knocked me for six.
"My partner, Krystle, got it too, though fortunately she only lost her sense of taste and smell, but we were really worried about the kids.
"I was watching people hooked up to tubes and ventilators on the UTV news and I was really worried. I didn't want to let the kids into my room to see me. I had hoped to build my five-year-old a playroom for Christmas, but I didn't have the energy and I couldn't go out shopping to buy food for our Christmas dinner.
"The club was great, really supportive, and they brought me up all the turkey and ham we needed for a family dinner on Christmas Day. We were really grateful for that because the kids were able to get a bit of a Christmas.
"I didn't leave the house for 12 days, it got me bad from just before Christmas right through to the New Year, but thankfully I recovered okay."
When Owens finally returned to training, he found the sessions incredibly difficult with his breathing laboured and he was generally sluggish.
"The first four sessions were tough and really tight," he stresses. "It took me a while to get back up to speed.
"We had a few cases at the club at the time, one or two boys lost their sense of smell so I think I got it the worst.
"I was told I would be immune for three months after but could catch it again, however the club has been great with the testing regularly, they have looked after us really well."
Owens' mixed season has been mirrored by his team's mixed fortunes, with the Crues having to lift their levels in recent weeks to secure a berth in the top six for the Premiership's end-of-season split.
The Crues can still qualify for Europe but it has been a disappointing season for Baxter and his players - and Owens is not hiding behind the Covid outbreak within the squad.
"No excuses, we haven't been good enough this season," he admits.
"First of all, we were glad to get back playing this season and started well, we were in the mix.
"Obviously I missed games when I had Covid and more recently needed eight stitches in my head after the Carrick game, but I got 70 minutes against Linfield during the week and I'm hoping for a good end to the season.
"It has been tough, between coronavirus, the fixture congestion, no fans.
"I feel sometimes we as players would have been helped by fans at games when we were playing so many Tuesday-Saturday games.
"It does get harder as you get older but I'm loving my football and I was delighted to sign a new two-year deal with the club this season.
"We have quality players in the squad so I'm not just looking forward to the end of this season and next season, particularly if we can get the fans back."