Ferocious Management founder Kwame Kwaten has spoken to Music Week about his harrowing experience with coronavirus.
The popular Music Managers Forum (MMF) vice chair spent more than a week in hospital with the virus after falling ill in March, but is now well on the way to recovery.
Speaking in this week's wellbeing special issue, which focuses on the ripple-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on physical and mental health, Kwaten relived his recent ordeal and said his initial symptoms were relatively mild.
"I started to feel a bit weird. I thought it was just a cold," he said. "For the next 10 days – this is around the time the lockdown was beginning to happen – I stayed in my house and I felt it was getting worse. Both myself and my wife were wondering if it was corona and then there was a three or four day period where I was feeling rough, and so did my wife, daughter and son.
"I was walking in my hallway one day when I just collapsed. My daughter heard it and held my head while my wife called for an ambulance. She was told that it would take hours to come, so we then got an Uber to the hospital. By the time I got there I was delirious, I wasn’t really making that much sense. I got there at 10pm and by 10am the next day they had found me a bed and a room to myself. A doctor came in and explained that they had taken me for X-rays and swabbed me – a couple of days went past and then they came back and said, ‘You’ve got the coronavirus’.
"Everyone’s symptoms are different. My lungs felt like they had Brillo pads in them. It really hurt every time I coughed, just like someone was scraping my lungs. Then the doctor came back and said, ‘Actually, you’ve got pneumonia as well’. I know that my wife asked the doctor, ‘Is he going to be alright?’ and the doctor couldn’t give a straight answer."
For those saying, 'I shouldn't be on lockdown – seriously, it's for your own protection
Kwaten paid tribute to the "amazing" NHS staff who treated him and said he felt his health begin to improve after around a week.
"By day eight, it properly started to lift," he said. "I don’t consider myself recovered yet, I’m very aware you have to respect this, because it is really super-serious. You have to understand that for me to even walk seven steps left me completely out of breath and having to hold onto a wall. Right now, I can walk around our house unaided: I can walk up the stairs and then walk back down the stairs. I’ll just keep doing that for now."
The government announced yesterday that it was extending the lockdown by at least three weeks, and Kwaten has urged people to save lives by staying at home.
"For those saying, ‘I shouldn’t be on lockdown’ – seriously, it’s for your own protection," he said. "You do not want to be on a hospital bed on a ventilator staring up at the ceiling. If they need your arse to stay indoors, then stay indoors."
Click here to read the full interview with Kwaten.