Nurse wakes from Covid coma to learn husband has died from the virus

A nurse who contracted coronavirus has told how he work up from a coma to be told his husband had died of the same virus.

David Courtney-Williams, 49, was put into an induced coma for a fortnight after falling ill in March.

But when he woke he was informed that Steven, his partner of 28 years and husband for 14, had died from Covid-19, aged 56.

David was one of the first patients to be put on a ventilator at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, as the pandemic spread globally in March.



(Image: (Image: David Courtney-Williams))

The Singleton Hospital nurse told Wales Online that he “just crumbled” when he heard the devastating news.

He said: “I couldn’t even hold the phone myself. I was so weak. I just remember thinking ‘what do you mean Steven’s gone ?’

“When I was taken in, Steven had no symptoms. He had his illnesses but to be told two weeks later when I woke up that he was gone, that was devastating.”

“It’s been difficult for the family too.



(Image: (Image: David Courtney-Williams))

“They were devastated with Steve passing away and I was touch and go at one point too. I think they were preparing for a double.

“And then they had the stress of telling me Steve had gone too.”

While dealing with the mental trauma of the news, David was also physically struggling with the side-effects of contracting the virus himself.

He said that the physical trauma of being intubated and placed into an induced coma means he found it difficult to process what had happened.

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“It’s been a mental struggle. It’s not just one thing but it’s another as well. It’s the physical side of recovery but then the mental battle,” he said.

“It’s been a nightmare to be honest.

“At first I couldn’t grieve properly because I had to get well myself. I had to put it to the back of my mind and concentrate on getting through this thing.

“I just couldn’t process it at that time.

“It was physically awful too, my vocal cords were damaged when I came round. The funeral director on the phone couldn’t understand me.

“I had to learn to walk again, I still have numbness in my leg six months after physio.

“I was so weak at one point we were not sure if I was going to make it to the funeral but I was determined.”

And while the mental trauma has been difficult for him, David admitted he is still suffering the effects of the virus several months later.

“The staff in Morriston Hospital are incredible, at the end of the day they saved my life,” he said.