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‘Nearly died in front of my children’: Nick Viropoulos shares experience with COVID-19

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Father-of-two, Nick Viropoulos, has opened up about his scary ordeal with COVID-19 in a video for the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service.

In the video, Nick shares how he tested positive for the virus and nine days after he was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in hospital fighting for his life.

Nick says that although he only had a mild cough at first, his fever continued to worsen and reached “just under 41 degrees Celsius.”

“By trying to reduce my fever, I burnt a hole in my stomach because of the (excessive) Nurofen. So I was bleeding internally,” he says.

“I nearly died in our home in front of my family because I thought I could fight this. I’m a fit, strong, active man and because of our inaction, I nearly died in front of my children on the lounge.”

‘Worst experience of my life’:

Nick’s wife and two young sons, aged 10 and 8, later tested for COVID-19 as well.

“On the day I went to hospital, my wife was separated from our children. For twenty days, our children were on their own, without their mother and father,” Nick says, while adding that they were well-looked after as part of a pilot program at Randwick Children’s Hospital.

In the meantime, Nick was told to say goodbye to his loved ones because after a scan of his chest, doctors thought he wouldn’t survive.

He ended up being in ICU for 16 days and in a coma for 12 and says rehabilitation from the after-effects of COVID-19 and ICU “were the worst experience of my life.”

“I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t lift my hands, I couldn’t control my bodily functions,” Nick explains.

“I went through the rehab process of learning how to walk, I had to learn how to swallow, I still can’t smell and taste food.”

Nick says he also has “neurological nerve damage,” pain in the extremities of his body and his feet, and needs oxygen at night.

This all leads him to give a final warning message in the video – “Do not let this happen to your family, your loved ones, your wife, your children, your friends… Listen to the professionals and protect yourself from this insidious disease.”

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