Former Wales defender Gavin Maguire says he feels “fortunate” to have overcome coronavirus.
The 52-year-old is now a porter at Great Western Hospital, Swindon, and narrowly avoided being admitted as a patient after contracting the disease.
“It’s your worst fear, really,” said the former Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth player.
“It’s a really debilitating situation to be in. Fortunately I’m not quite in the dangerous age bracket yet.”
Maguire believes being in generally good health with no underlying conditions helped him avoid the worst of the illness.
“But when you actually experience it yourself you can understand why so many people have succumbed to it because it’s not a nice experience at all,” he told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.
“I got to a stage where I had a very, very constant cough and to the point where a couple of Saturdays ago I had to call an ambulance, which is not something I’m really happy doing, obviously with everything else going on.
“I literally couldn’t catch my breath – I was coughing constantly and I was fortunate that my saturation levels were 1% above or just borderline of having to be admitted.
“So fortunately I didn’t have to be admitted.
“The next day it got a little bit worse again and that’s when I was able to be tested and to find out I had a positive result.”
Maguire says his recovery came after medics spotted a lung issue.
“It’s fine, actually. One of the things the paramedics were saying with myself was I seemed a little bit compromised on one side of my chest; could have been a spot of pneumonia or whatever,” he said.
“But that said I have some incredibly strong antibiotics, apparently, and they weren’t very nice to take, but I think that really rectified the problem I had and the temperature went away pretty quickly, actually.
“So it was strange in the fact as quickly as it came, it quickly went for me. I was fortunate.”
He is now back at work, but remains wary of what lies ahead given so much remains unknown about the virus.
“We’re in the situation where we’re not 100% sure of knowing if we’ve built up the antibodies to not, maybe, catch it again,” Maguire added.
“But we are doing all we can for ourselves and obviously more importantly for the patients with our PPE (personal protective equipment), but you can’t negate everything, that’s the trouble.”