"I owe my life to the NHS": Theo Usherwood reveals his battle with coronavirus

16 April 2020, 09:47 | Updated: 16 April 2020, 10:02

By Adrian Sherling

Theo Usherwood opened up about his battle for his life after contracting coronavirus, telling Nick Ferrari: "I owe my life to the NHS".

LBC's Political Editor was hospitalised with coronavirus for several days as he contracted pneumonia in both lungs and was struggling to breathe.

In an emotional interview as he returned to LBC after six weeks off work, he thanked the nurses who cared for him as if he was their son.

He said: "I have to say, I owe my life to the NHS. Genuinely, I wouldn't be sat here today if it wasn't for the doctors and nurses who treated me."

Theo woke up one morning with aching limbs, but could still eat and get things done. But as the week went on, he started coughing and having trouble breathing.

It got progressively worse and 11 days later, he realised he needed help. "It felt like I was drowning. It felt like somebody had put a clamp around my chest. I couldn't clear my chest, water was sitting on my lungs and I was unable to breath."

His wife called an ambulance and he was put on oxygen. He stayed connected to that same oxygen pipe for five days.

Theo Usherwood spoke about how he battled for his life after contracting coronavirus
Theo Usherwood spoke about how he battled for his life after contracting coronavirus. Picture: LBC

He paid tribute to love and care he was given by the NHS workers: "Sister Jane looked after me like she'd look after her own son. This woman was just incredible.

"The nurses never made a mistake in six days. That was the incredible thing. When everything is falling apart, you rely on these people and they are just incredibly talented and they found a way through for me. I knew I was getting the best possible care."

Theo's situation was not that unlike the Prime Minister, admitting: "There were two and a half days when it was in the balance. The scary thing was it could have gone the other way."

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He had a very simple message to everyone: "The NHS is the most phenomenal organisation. Something that is in danger of being lost in the arguments about PPE and testing, the NHS has the most incredibly talented people.

"A quote from Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer stuck with me. He said 'Don't go anywhere which has a weaker health system than our NHS'. And the NHS is the absolute best. I cannot get over how, in the face of such adversity how talented, how caring these people are."

His interview is a stark reminder of why we are all staying inside - to stop more people getting coronavirus and going through what Theo had to go for. And also why we will all open our front doors and applaud our frontline heroes this evening.

This interview is a must-watch. See it in full at the top of the page.