Cystic fibrosis sufferer shares how he survived coronavirus

A young man with cystic fibrosis has come forward with his inspiring story of surviving coronavirus, despite being considered "at risk".

Daniel James-Lacey McInerney, 21, was terrified when he was diagnosed with Covid-19 as his pre-existing medical condition means only 25% of his lungs work at full capacity.

Cystic fibrosis causes mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system, causing lung infections, digestion issues and ultimately a limited lifespan.

But after two weeks of hospital treatment and self-isolation, Mr McInerney defeated the deadly virus and has now tested negative.

"I know the 'at risk' vulnerable people in the UK are scared of what is going on but I want to give them some hope," he told the Daily Express.

"If someone with lungs working at only 25%, weakened by cystic fibrosis can shake off Covid-19 I feel confident many more people can."

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The Londoner was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was four, and also suffers from diabetes related to the condition.

Until the age of 15 he only needed one hospital visit a year, but his health has since deteriorated due to a bacterial infection and his lung function dropped from 60% to 25-30%, meaning he needs near-constant breathing support.

On March 5 Mr McInerney began to feel run-down and checked himself into St Bartholomew's a few days later. He'd already been self-isolating knowing he was in the "at risk" group for whom coronavirus could be deadly.

On March 10 he woke up with a fever, sore throat and a headache, but a swab test said he had normal flu. He was told he could go home soon until he was tested for Covid-19.

"The matron entered my room all gowned up with a mask and I knew it was something bad," he said.

"When they show up, you know it is either very serious or you are in trouble. I told them 'if this is a joke, it's not funny'.

"But she had come to tell me I tested positive for Covid-19. I was absolutely terrified. I've spent time online like everyone else.

"I had been reading already that having CF meant I was one of those most susceptible and likely to die."

He was immediately moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where he recovered quickly, and he soon asked to be moved out of the ICU as "others worse off than me needed them".

He was sent home where he remains in self-isolation, and on Monday he tested negative for coronavirus.

Live updates on COVID-19 cases near you

England: 4,792

  • London: 2,433
  • Midlands: 808
  • South East: 590
  • North West: 496
  • North East and Yorkshire: 446
  • East of England: 452
  • South West: 278

Scotland: 499

Wales: 418

Northern Ireland: 149

Mr McInerney still has no idea how he caught virus, but wants to spread hope among people who are scared of getting it.

"Have faith that our immune system does work. Be positive and have people you can rely on," he said.

"I really hope there will be more recovering cases – this isn't an apocalyptic pandemic but it is serious, so just be safe."

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