A 21-YEAR-OLD has warned youngsters to take coronavirus seriously after he spent a full weekend in hospital thinking he was ‘going to die’.

Malcolm Campbell, from Ayr says, it will take six months for his lungs to recover from pneumonia brought on by COVID-19.

The finance worker was rushed to Ayr Hospital on Friday, September 11 after he was tested for the virus just days before.

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What started as a loss of taste and smell developed into a coughing fit as his temperature shot to over 40 degrees and his heart rate rocketed to 160bpm at resting.

Malcolm told the Advertiser: “I couldn’t believe it. I started to lose my taste and smell on the Tuesday so just stayed at home.

“I started to feel dead run down, fatigued and tired so I decided to get booked in for a test on the Thursday.

“I was just feeling really run down. It wasn’t anything drastic, just coughing and loss of taste and smell.

“I felt alright, then by 4pm on Friday, I was in bed just lying there. My muscles seized up, I could not move at all.

“I was sweating like mad and my heart couldn’t stop beating.

“I was bright red. I phoned 111 and because of how serious it sounded they got paramedics straight out.

“My temperature was 40 degrees and my heart was up to 160bpm at resting.

“I knew then there was something up. They rushed me up to Ayr hospital – they just done all the usual tests.”

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Malcolm was rushed to Ayr Hospital’s Combined Assessment Unit where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Malcolm said: “I was the first patient with COVID that they had seen in months.

“It was a horrible experience – it all happened so fast. I went from being in my bed to on a stretcher being taken into the ambulance then put on a drip as well.

“When I got into the Combined Assessment Unit it was scary, there was so much going on. I was hooked up to all sorts of machines that kept checking by heart rate and oxygen levels, I was given an injection to stop me from being sick. I was just pumped full of drugs.

“The nurses and doctors were amazing – they were really reassuring. I didn’t know what was going to happen, I kept panicking.

“To be honest I thought I was going to die. It was that bad I was struggling for a breath.

Malcolm was able to return home to his “distraught” mum on the Sunday (September 13).

He now takes 20 tablets a day including steroids and he is hoping that there is no long lasting damage to his lungs showing on x-rays.

Malcolm has warned others his age to follow the guidelines as he still battles the after effects of coronavirus.

He added: “I go to the gym four times a week, I’m relatively fit

“I used to think it’s just a cold you’ll get over it, but I’ve had a taste of karma now.

“I’ve heard a lot about house parties going on where people have mixed with others who then tested positive. I’ve also heard about people who get a negative test but still go out even though they need to self-isolate. Before you know it there can be a domino effect.

He added: “I have a different mind-set now than I did before. This virus could have killed me. It will be even worse for someone who is a lot older. We all need to stick to the guidelines. This has to be taken seriously.”