'It's serious and takes people's lives'  - Northumberland couple's message as they fight Covid-19

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A Northumberland couple battling coronavirus are urging people to take the illness seriously and follow Government advice.

Judith and Rod Hardisty from Amble were shocked to discover they had tested positive for Covid-19 after following restrictions and Public Health guidance since the start of the pandemic.

Rod, who has asthma and COPD, started to feel unwell just a few days into October, suffering from a cough which alarmed wife Judith, who urged him to get a test.

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The 72-year-old completed a postal swab test on Wednesday, October 7 and discovered that he had tested positive on Friday, October 9 via email.

Judith and Rod Hardisty are both battling coronavirus.Judith and Rod Hardisty are both battling coronavirus.
Judith and Rod Hardisty are both battling coronavirus.

Meanwhile Judith, 57, also began to feel unwell, experiencing weakness in her legs and breathlessness while walking her dog.

Further symptoms followed, with both Judith and Rod losing their sense of smell and taste.

Judith carried out a test on Monday, October 12 and found out her positive result on Wednesday, October 14, with the pair self-isolating the entire time.

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Over the days that passed the couple became increasingly ill, suffering from fatigue with Judith also experiencing sweating and diarrhoea.

Judith and Rod Hardisty are urging people to take coronavirus seriously as they battle the illness themselves.Judith and Rod Hardisty are urging people to take coronavirus seriously as they battle the illness themselves.
Judith and Rod Hardisty are urging people to take coronavirus seriously as they battle the illness themselves.

Judith told the Gazette: “When we saw it in black and white that we both had coronavirus it was a shock to the system.

"We just thought; ‘I hope we pull through this’.

"After my result came back positive, that is when I started to sweat, I couldn’t taste anything and the taste in my mouth was really horrible.

"We both became very weak and were sleeping all of the time."

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The pair are still isolating and are receiving daily welfare calls from NHS England as well as food deliveries from neighbours, but say they hope to have turned a corner on their road to recovery.

Now they want to raise awareness of the seriousness of the virus with their story, having come into contact with the illness despite following all of the guidance.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic in March we have done everything we can to protect ourselves,” Judith said.

"I wear a mask and Rod has stayed in the car when I’m food shopping, we wash our hands, disinfect everything and don’t go out anywhere.

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"So I want to make people aware that no one is immune to this and that we have to do what we are told [by the Government] whether we like it or not – otherwise more people are going to get it and more people are going to die.

"I just want to tell people that this is real.

"This is not a laughing matter, it's serious and takes people's lives.

“People need to realise that this is a serious virus and it's a silent killer, they have to take it seriously and not think they won’t get it.”

Rod, who is retired, added: “At first everyone was taking it carefully and seriously but as months have gone by people are getting very complacent.

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"But it’s when you let your guard down a little bit that you can get caught out.”

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