'Covid has robbed us of our son:' Mum's heartbreak over Doncaster NHS worker's virus battle

The heartbroken mum of a Doncaster NHS worker still battling Covid nearly a year on says the virus has robbed her of her son.
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Dad of three Phillip Cawkwell, who works at a hospital in the Midlands, was diagnosed with Covid-19 last March – and is still suffering from the illness.

And his devastated mum Philomena says Covid has left her son feeling 'so low’, unable to ‘see ahead into the future” and still off work.

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She said: “Long Covid has robbed us of our son. He is desperate to return to work, he can’t see ahead into the future, it’s so very very sad.”

Phillip Cawkwell is still suffering from coronavirus.Phillip Cawkwell is still suffering from coronavirus.
Phillip Cawkwell is still suffering from coronavirus.

Mr Cawkwell, who will be 40 this year, originally comes from Conisbrough, and up until last spring was working as an anaesthetic theatre practitioner at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield. He previously worked at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

As the pandemic took hold, he and his team would work at intubating critically ill patients – and it is thought he contracted Covid through work.

His mum said: “Sadly his life for him, as it was, has literally ended.

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"He contracted corona and he was so ill. He received oxygen, was nursed prone (placing a patient on their front to help breathing) and all we could do was FaceTime him, sometimes no one could speak, as he couldn’t and we would just watch him breathing."

A keep fit and cycling fanatic, he was discharged after three weeks and diagnosed with long Covid.

She added: “He is still off work, he can only look at his bikes, his legs are like glass, he has brain fog and his lungs as he says are ‘basically knackered’"

"He is so low we do worry about him. He has worked so hard to get where he has and we are so very very proud of him.”

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Talking of his experience, in an interview earlier this year, he said: "I felt dizzy and scared and I was gasping for air.

"I was petrified on my way to hospital and convinced I was going to die. The paramedics kept calling out my observations and as I am medically trained I knew just what they meant. I had a terrible feeling of doom and kept thinking about my three kids. It was truly traumatic.”

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