Philip King-Jones knows he is in the demographic most at-risk, when it comes to contracting COVID-19. It’s the reason the 80-year-old Logan Lake man, who previously worked in management at Highland Valley Copper, is so grateful for the care he received at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.
“At 80 years of age, by all accounts, I shouldn’t be bloody well making it,” said King-Jones, who contracted COVID-19 in December and is currently recovering at home. “You know, honestly, with the help of people like that, it makes an enormous difference to your life and I am eternally grateful to them. There’s so much made of frontline workers, but it’s really true.”
King-Jones spent weeks in and out of hospital after contracting COVID-19 and is sharing his experience with the hopes of recognizing staff who cared for him.
The longtime Logan Lake resident also counts himself “lucky” to be in a community with neighbours who have helped to shovel snow and call to check in on him.
He credits hospital staff for “extra care and attention” he received and also credits ambulance paramedics. King-Jones said that during his time in hospital, a couple of patients were abusive to hospital staff, which he believed to be uncalled for.
“I really do feel that the so-called frontline workers we talk about are really dedicated,” he said. “They’ve got a crappy job but they do it with such good humour and there’s nothing too big or too small that they won’t do for you.”
King-Jones does not know how or where he contracted COVID-19.
He said his wife stays at home and he normally does the shopping because he drives and they wanted to cut down on risk of exposure.
King-Jones said he started feeling “peculiar” around Dec. 10 or Dec. 11 and went for a COVID-19 test. The test result came back positive.
“I have no idea where I contracted it,” he said. “I wore masks, I washed my hands and so on and so forth.”
King-Jones spent about three weeks in and out of Royal Inland Hospital around Christmas, including in the ICU, though he was not put on a ventilator. He said the virus attacks a person’s weaknesses.
King-Jones survived a heart attack three years ago, but now he is having heart problems, as a result of the virus. He also said he had stomach problems. He is now at home recovering.
“It’s going to take a while,” King-Jones said. “I kind of thought that when I got out of hospital everything would be great and I would feel fine, but it doesn’t quite work that way, I’m afraid, and it’s going to take a few weeks at least before I sort of recover completely, I think.”
Asked if there is anything people should know about what it is like to experience COVID-19, he said:
“I think people should appreciate maybe that it’s a little bit more extreme than people tend to give it credit for,” he said. “When you get the flu, you sort of get sick and you move on. The one thing that I find is the after-effects of this thing linger for a long time and this, to me, was an eye-opener.”