Forever Grateful

to the NHS

A Local Story of COVID-19 Survival

by Joanne Patterson of The Refocus Clinic in Cheltenham

In April 2020 I became the first patient to be sent home from my ward, having survived COVID-19 pneumonia. I owe my life to the NHS.

My son Hamish-James, who is 18 and was on his school holidays, was an absolute superstar throughout. He cared for me for 11 days at home with suspected COVID-19. When the paramedics came around and decided I was not ill enough to go into hospital he continued to look after me, monitoring my temperature every hour, my fluid intake/output and rubbing my back as I had hours of coughing fits. He eventually took his own course of action calling 999 some 15 hrs later. I was admitted within 20 minutes with an incredibly high CRP inflammatory marker of 265 and dangerously low Oxygen stats with COVID-19, viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia. In addition to all the ghastly COVID symptoms, whilst in hospital I collapsed, unable to take one more breath. My kidneys had stopped working, hence my lungs flooded with the fluid I was drinking: the NHS saved my life.

The Masks. The cloud of life to death and the infinite possibilities of death to life. Of both. How we see each so differently depending on our current perception, how perception is context related, and that perception is reality. If true, how quickly with a glance, a jolt, a decision or no decision, our perception changes, by chance? No such thing as co-incidence. And a new reality awaits, and in death as I crossed, reality was no longer. I was my death waving goodbye. Gently. Silently. Shrouded in still movement. A riverbed of warmth. Floating. Until, I breathed, just one breath through a mask. Breath gives life. Breath takes life. Is breath a who? A what? A when? A how? Our actions betray us, yet when we are action, we know not of the cataclysmic dilemma ahead. For if we knew of consequence, would we, would we, would we, ‘Be’? We are at our height of presence, now. What holds us together is kindness, ourself, compassion and empathy. Our hearts are our tomorrow.

Getting Well

When I was in hospital, I followed a ‘Getting Well Again’ meditation track which helped me to move into life and away from death. Indeed, it has been proven to scientifically reduce allostatic load. I often ask clients at The Refocus Clinic to do this meditation when they wake each morning for a month, to set up their feel-good mood chemicals for the day ahead. I would be very happy for this to be shared with anybody who has suffered with emotional stress and anxiety through these difficult times and who would like to rebuild themselves by listening to Getting Well Again. Here’s the link to it, if you’d like to use it and spread the FREE feel good chemical state of mind. Please click on As a gift from The Refocus Clinic and Matt Hudson, Cheltenham Lifestyle can offer their readers the free voucher code which is ‘STAYWELL’. (You will not be charged the normal £29.99.)

TIP: One of the remedies I am taking in my quest to get stronger and rebuild my immune system is Cat's Claw Tea - an immune boosting adaptogenic tea (available from The Refocus Clinic). Cat’s Claw Tea combined with therapeutic doses of Vitamin D3, K2, Vit B, Vitamin C, Zinc and L-Lysine are absolute essentials for everyone’s immune systems at present. Along with good alkaline nutrition and gentle exercise I am getting back up and running ready for each new day. I am enormously grateful to be alive. As Matt would say, ‘One breath at a time’.

'Between stimulus and response there is a space.

In that space is our power to choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.'

~ Viktor Frankl 1946