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Dad told to make ‘final call’ to family from ICU. He cried with his wife. But he survived

A father of three who survived COVID-19 has revealed how nurses gave him 15 minutes to call loved ones in case he never came out of intensive care.

Darren Buttrick, from Coven in Staffordshire, said hearing Boris Johnson's account of overcoming the disease had brought it all back to him.

He told Sky News: "I was struggling to even dial the numbers on my phone, going to the memory bank, picking out people's numbers, ring family, ring friends – it was just awful having to explain.

Image: Darren Buttrick, seen after he returned home from hospital

"I'd cried and I'd begged the doctors and the nurses prior not to let me die. I pleaded, I begged.

"And then having to say to Angela, my parents, my brothers, my sister, family, friends, that this could be my last conversation, I love them, it was very emotional, very distressing and I just sat there crying."

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His wife Angela said the decision to escalate his treatment to intensive care came as a shock to her and their three teenage daughters.

"I just collapsed to the floor, I couldn't function. As soon as I put the phone down from him… I'd ring again and it was like I needed to speak to him constantly before they put him under."

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Darren, 48, was put into a coma then onto a ventilator at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital.

He'd had a fever above 40C (104F) and said breathing felt like he was being "strangled".

He had no underlying health conditions when he fell ill with the virus on 11 March. He described those who cared for him as "angels".

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