A Lincoln business owner who was one of the first in the county to receive a new experimental COVID drug treatment told The Lincolnite that the symptoms of the virus hit him “like a speeding truck”.
Des Davis, who owns Margaret’s Tea Room in Lincoln, is classed as high risk and clinically vulnerable due to his previous medical history. He was notified through the NHS that should he test positive for COVID-19 then the drug – Sotrovimab – would be available to him.
The 54-year-old had the treatment intravenously, after having a cannula put in at Lincoln County Hospital on Friday, January 7, and he believes it helped save his life.
Des had his first coronavirus vaccine in February last year before later having his second. He had his booster jab, as well as a flu vaccination, just before Christmas, and he thinks the situation would’ve been very different had he not had them.
He told The Lincolnite: “It made me realise that although I’ve had all of these protection things put in place, it (coronavirus) floored me. Had I not have had all the vaccines and boosters, on top of a flu jab as well, things could have ben an awful lot different. I am grateful I had the treatment last week.
“It was getting to the point where every single time I got a stabbing pain, the more poorly I was getting, and I was worried that it could turn a corner.
“One thing I’ve noticed is that I feel less as if I’m fighting COVID now because my body was getting pretty exhausted. Now I feel more like I’m recovering from the symptoms and the effects of it.”
Des was due to reopen his tea room from the festive break on January 5, but during the early hours of that morning he started getting symptoms of coronavirus.
He had earache, ringing in his ears, an intense headache, and pain in his legs which he said at one point made him feel like he ‘wanted to cut them off’. He also had a runny nose, sneezing and a cough. Although he didn’t lose his sense of smell, some food tasted a bit strange to him, and he also had cold flu-like symptoms.
Des, who has been testing himself regularly, had a lateral flow test that day, which came up positive.
Due to being clinically vulnerable, he had been sent a PCR test in the post a few weeks ago with instructions to not use it until he started getting symptoms. After using the test kit, he received a positive result the following day.
He said: “There is a treatment window and once you have tested positive and you declare that through the NHS system they contact you. An assessment was done and I was asked about different allergies.
“I spoke to a consultant as well whilst I was at home so he could talk me through what was going to happen. Before I knew it I was up at an external ward at Lincoln hospital.
“I had 30 minutes of a drip feed through my arm and then an hour under observation before being discharged. I went straight back to bed and had no ill effects afterwards.”
Des will do a lateral flow test on Wednesday – on day six since testing positive – and again on Thursday. He is looking forward to reopening his tea room soon and wants to thank his guests for all their support.
He is hoping he will be able to get the grant the government said it will give to small businesses following multiple cancellations due to restrictions before Christmas.
Des, who previously appeared on the television show First Dates, said: “Because I’m such a tiny business, I’ve noticed a difference in the takings from the reduction of the number of people we can get in (six tables inside, reduced down from eight).
“When you could only have people outdoors that was a crippler as we only have two tables outside, and we had to rely on takeaway and afternoon teas on the go.
“I found that quite difficult, but am lucky that after having the business open for nearly five years that I have got a loyal, friendly guest base and I am lucky to have that support behind me.
“We had to cancel some bookings, including a baby shower, but customers have been more concerned about me getting better.
“Because of how I was feeling I just had to take it on the chin and (temporarily) shut the business. I found it quite frustrating as I had tried to keep the business going through all of the lockdowns, but I was not well enough and it was out of my hands. I’ll be back soon and look forward to seeing everybody.”