29th April 2020, 21:07 | therfl
Brendan Sheridan, who battled back from the brink to beat Covid-19, is urging the British public to stick to Government guidelines on social distancing so that the UK can conquer Coronavirus as quickly as possible.
Oldham RL Club's assistant coach, back home in Dewsbury after spending three weeks in a Wakefield Hospital, said the battle he was now fighting was "more mental than physical."
The 41-year-old father of three owes his life to the skill, commitment, courage and devotion to duty of the NHS doctors and nurses at Pinderfields Hospital.
For the first two of his three weeks in Pinderfields he was on the Intensive Care Unit in an induced coma and on a ventilator to help him to breath.
Speaking to roughyeds.co.uk and to reveal how his "massively scary" experience had changed his outlook on life, Brendan said the entire country should be bursting at the seams with pride for the NHS and all their front-line doctors, nurses and other staff.
He said: "It's only now that I'm starting to realise how lucky I was and that I owe my life to the wonderful people at Pinderfields. At the same time I can't stop thinking about the thousands who weren't as lucky as I was.
"Every day I ask myself: 'Why me? Why do I deserve to be as fortunate as this?'
"I'm getting on with my recovery now and I'm slowly getting there. I'm doing a three-mile walk every day but my battle is more of a mental one after everything that's happened in the last few weeks."
Fit, only 41, a non-smoker and a Rugby League coach and former player who had always looked after himself, Brendan never considered himself to be at risk.
He went on: "I never had many of the symptoms - just a sudden shortage of breath. It all happened so quickly. I seemed to be okay one minute, really struggling for breath the next.
"I can recall going in the ambulance and arriving at hospital but I don't remember another thing until I came round in the intensive care ward after what I later learned was two weeks in a coma.
"It was surreal. Bit by bit in the days after I woke up I started to piece together what had happened to me by talking to family, friends and hospital staff and then it struck home just how critically ill I had been.
"When I came round from the coma I couldn't function properly.
"I couldn't write my name, text or dial numbers on the phone, but I'm coming along nicely now and I owe so much to the amazing doctors, nurses and the rest of the staff at Pinderfields; to my family and friends; and to all the people of the wider Rugby League community, especially from Oldham and from the Dewsbury and Batley areas, who have done so much messaging and given me so much support.
"A massive and heartfelt thank-you to you all.
"By all pulling together as a nation we can beat this thing, but we've still a way to go yet and we need to stick to social distancing and following Government guidelines for a while longer yet.
"There are signs we might be getting on top of it, certainly in hospitals, but we need to observe the guidelines as strictly as ever.
"We are so lucky to have the wonderful NHS behind us in these frightening and unprecedented times but we can't afford to relax or think the worst is over and we can go back to something like normality.
"We can't - not yet. It isn't worth it. Believe me!"