Coronavirus symptoms: Family man’s diary of strange symptoms that led to critical care

Coronavirus is the contagious disease that lurks on surfaces and is invisible to the naked eye. Easily caught, one family man created a diary of his strange symptoms.

Grandad Panayiotis Elia, 66, didn’t come across the classic symptoms of COVID-19.

On Wednesday March 18, he wrote: “I started feeling unwell.”

He had “been constipated for a couple of days”, and felt “lethargic” and “nauseous”.


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In the diary, he put: “At the behest of all my family, I closed the shop and went home to self-isolate with my wife.”

Running a business to support his family, it was a hard decision to close the doors, but the right one, nonetheless.

“Very quickly, I got worse,” he revealed. He had lost his sense of taste, and couldn’t eat or drink.

He “started to be very confused and had been sick too”, but “wouldn’t take the step to go to hospital”.

Admitting to being a “stubborn man”, it was his daughter who called the ambulance for him four days later.

Panayiotis was rushed off to Good Hope Hospital, Birmingham, on Sunday March 22.

There, the Brummie from Sutton Coldfield, was tested for COVID-19 with a swab.

“A specialist came to look at my abdomen and chest, and called for X-rays and CT scans,” he wrote.

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“I was treated for nausea and constipation”, and “the X-rays and CT scans showed evidence of crackling in my chest”.

By Tuesday March 24, it was confirmed that Panayiotis did have COVID-19.

The family man also was suffering from pneumonia – one of the severe complications of the disease.

“The doctors were right to be concerned,” he had written.


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“I was sent to a ward that had four other people on, but I became steadily worse and was put on oxygen, given fluids and antibiotics,” wrote Panayiotis.

“My nurse at the time was very concerned about my temperature spiking and the doctor ordered more paracetamol and IV antibiotics.

“The other three patients were sent home and I was on my own in the ward, constantly awake.”

Fearful of his own life, “I did not sleep more than one hour a night… during my stay at the hospital”.

In the early hours of Friday March 27, Panayiotis “was visited by a consultant from the intensive care department / critical care team”.

“I could tell before he opened his mouth that it was not going to be good news, his body language said it all,” detailed Panayiotis.

“He had to repeat his message twice before I got the gist. I was to be taken and put on a ventilator.

“My condition was getting worse and significant damage had been done to my one remaining kidney.

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