A mum who was given three days to live after contracting Covid-19 has made a miraculous recovery with help from an experimental drug.
The family of Claire Haythorne, 45, of Sheffield, say they have been through the “hardest two months” of their lives since their mum contracted the virus at the start of November.
It’s been something of a harsh wake up call for the family, who were initially sceptical of how bad the effects of the virus would be on them, YorkshireLive reports.
As a care worker at Loxley Park Care Home, Mrs Haythorne found out she had the virus through one of the mandatory tests she had every week at the start of November.
The mum of two didn’t display symptoms at the time but went home to isolate.
Her daughter Leah Haythorne, 18, said: “She was alright to quarantine for two weeks. On Friday she got in bed and by Sunday the 8th November, she’d lost all the colour in her face. You couldn’t recognise her.
“Then Monday she got rushed into hospital. That was the last time we saw her.”
Mrs Haythorne continued to deteriorate rapidly while in ICU at Northern General Hospital and was placed in an induced coma on Thursday, November 12.
Leah said: “Her kidneys and lungs were proper bad. She was needing lots of oxygen.”
After weeks of trying various treatments, doctors decided to start giving her the drug Anakinra or Kineret, which is normally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, on December 3.
Leah said: “The doctors said it was a last resort.”
But the improvements were instantaneous.
“The eighth was my brother’s birthday and that’s the day she made the most improvement,” Leah said.
“By the 11th she was awake.
“They started slowly reducing the medication and she slowly started to wake up. She started by reacting to her name and moving her arm and then she woke up.
“When she went on the medication they’d given her three days to live. They’d said if it didn’t work they won’t know what to do next.
“It was just a waiting game. Literally waiting day in and day out.”
The family became increasingly supportive of each other while Claire was going through treatment, with Leah saying: “It’s made me and my brother close.
“We didn’t know what we had until it was taken away from us.”
Leah said the family got to speak to Claire on Christmas Day remotely and the doctor who prescribed the medication described her recovery as a “little Christmas miracle”.
Leah got to see her mum – who is now off all her medication and oxygen – on Saturday, which was the first time since she was taken to hospital.
She said: “When she came round the corner I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe it was her.
“I can’t put into words what it felt like. It was overwhelming. It’s been the hardest two months.”
Leah said the experience had been a rude awakening for the family, who had been dismissive of the virus initially.
She said: “At first when my mum was in bed we were like, ‘Come on mum, it can’t be that bad’. We never thought it would affect her the way it has.
“We didn’t think it was as serious as my mum has had it. She had no health problems and it’s not like she’s old.”