Ffion Barnett from Tonypandy, Rhondda in Wales was put in a coma and subsequently lost her hair and motor functions following a battle with Covid-19.

The marketing student recalled her ordeal with the disease in an interview with Wales Online. She said she suspected that she had the virus two days after her 22nd birthday, when she lost her sense of taste. Then, her PCR test came back positive. But even then she was more concerned about isolating and getting better. She thought she was young and healthy enough to avoid serious complications.

"I wasn't vaccinated because I thought, being young with no health conditions, I was safe. Obviously, I was wrong," she admitted.

A week after, her breathing became laboured and she had to be admitted to the ICU at Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant on Aug. 13, and from there, her condition only worsened. She had to be put in an induced coma for five days because doctors feared her high heart rate could result in a cardiac arrest. She also had Covid-induced pneumonia.

"I spoke to my mother who works at the hospital as a bank nurse. She knew that my breathing was very heavy and told me to go straight to hospital. My partner wheeled me into the hospital and I was taken straight into a room by resus. They did all my observations and stats and put me straight on oxygen," Barnett shared.

She also recalled that the medication doctors gave her to bring her back from coma made her hallucinate. "But as I was so agitated they put me back under. I didn't know what was reality and what wasn't. It must have been terrifying for my family, but in truth, I was in no state to be frightened as I was so out of it."

Barnett reportedly spent two weeks and five days in the hospital. Toward the end of her stay, she had to relearn how to talk, eat, sleep, and walk properly. She shared that when she did manage to talk it just was not her voice anymore. She also needed help with taking a bath and making her own food at home. As a side effect of COVID-19, she also lost her long, thick black hair. Now she hopes that her story can help convince people to get the vaccine, as she has already done after her debilitating ordeal. She said she has almost fully recovered but still feels lethargic all the time.

Pfizer BioNtech vaccine
A health worker prepares the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine in the city of Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil Photo: AFP / Carlos JUNIOR