‘I felt like I was dying’: Paul O’Grady describes the terrible disease that ‘finished’ him

Paul O’Grady, best known for his For the Love of Dogs program, spoke about his grueling battle with Covid-19. The presenter, who contracted the virus in Malta, said he was unable to work for two months after the coronavirus made him ‘wheeze’. Having previously suffered two heart attacks, Paul was so concerned about his health that he asked his cardiologist to run tests.

The cardiologist diagnosed the host as a “recovering Covid victim” after performing an x-ray scan.

He recalls fearing he would never recover when persistent symptoms forced him to take a vacation.

Symptoms hit the presenter after filming the second season of Sally Lindsey’s Madame Blanc Mysteries in Malta.

Paul recalled: “I managed to avoid Covid until last year, and then I caught it. I didn’t understand half of it; I was really sick.

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“It destroyed me, I was shocked at how bad I was. I [took] good two months to get over it. I caught my breath.

“I went out to feed the pigs and had to sit down two or three times on the way there, wheezing.”

Drained of energy, the 67-year-old spent the summer recuperating on his farm in Kent.

“All I did was sleep. I woke up, went downstairs and sat on the sofa, and then passed out for another four hours, ”explained Paul.

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“I would get up, have a cup of tea, and then go back to bed and sleep all night, it was very strange.

“I just felt terrible about it. I have never slept so much in my life. I got all the injections, but this just finished me off.

“Thank God, now I got over it, but at one time I thought:“ Will this ever pass? Will I ever be able to regain my energy and stop being tired? It was embarrassing.”

Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics last year showed that more than two million people in the UK have long-term symptoms of Covid.

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This condition includes anyone who has symptoms for several weeks after an acute infection.

According to the NHS, the most common symptoms of the syndrome are extreme fatigue, loss of smell and shortness of breath.

Recalling his symptoms, Paul said, “We had one day of filming at the bank and that night I felt a little out of my element, and the next day I felt like I was dying.”

“I had a terrible headache and a terrible cough. I spent nine days in my dorm room, slowly rounding the corner.

“Eventually I flew home and felt a lot better, and then after a couple of days, I felt shock and was back in bed, I just couldn’t get rid of it.”

To quantify how many people suffer from a chronic illness, researchers at the University of Groningen surveyed more than 76,000 adults in 2020.

Researchers have defined long-term Covid as a condition in which at least one symptom worsens to moderate severity three to five months after exposure to the virus.

According to these measurements, one in eight people in the study who contracted the virus had persistent symptoms.

While there is no single treatment that can cure long-term Covid in general, various medications have been shown to relieve symptoms.

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