A 72-YEAR-OLD man who tested positive for Covid-19 for 305 days has described his experience being the longest sufferer with the virus.
Dave Smith, a retired driving instructor from Bristol, confessed that he thought he was going to die and that he called his relatives to make peace with them beforehand.
During his more than 10-month battle with Covid-19, Dave said that he lost over 10 stone and was bedbound for three months.
He told the BBC how he coughed for "five hours straight, non-stop... if you can imagine the drain that puts on your body, the energy".
He added: “I was ready to give up. I said to Lyn, my wife, ‘Let me go, I’ve been hanging on, it’s so bad now, I’m just jelly. If I go in the night, don’t be surprised.’”
He said his weight plummeted from 117kg to 64kg while ill due to a lack of appetite.
His wife Lynda, who shaved and washed him while he was unable to get out of bed, said there were "a lot of times we didn't think he was going to pull through."
Smith has several medical conditions that undermined his immune system, putting him more at risk from Covid-19.
His road to recovery began after he was provided with a cocktail of antibodies produced by the US firm Regeneron, the same treatment that Donald Trump was given when he contracted the virus in October 2020.
The lifesaving drug had a remarkable effect on Smith's immune response to the virus, but has yet to get the greenlight from British and Irish regulators.
After coming to terms with a looming death, Mr Smith said he celebrated being Covid-free for the first time in a year with a bottle of champagne.
Commenting on the murkier days of his illness, he told The Guardian: "Whenever I went bad, I went really bad - down to death's door. My wife started to arrange a funeral five times."
He added jokingly: "I called all the family in to make my peace with them. I wish I'd kept my mouth shut now."
As the longest recorded instance of live Covid-19 infection, his case has caught the attention of the scientific community and will be presented to the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in July.