Two friends craving McDonald’s after eight weeks of lockdown take 250-mile round trip to nearest drive-thru – The Sun

TWO friends craving a McDonald’s after eight weeks of lockdown took a 250-mile round trip to their nearest drive-thru.

Fast-food fans Ryan Hall and Paisley Hamilton, both 23, spent £27 on petrol for the epic trip, and faced a 30-car queue when they arrived.

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They spent £20 on a large Chicken McNugget meal, large Big Mac meal, two Cokes, two double cheeseburgers, a McChicken sandwich, regular cheeseburger and a Filet-O-Fish.

The scoffed the feast in the car park then drove home — and despite the £47 total cost have no regrets about the day out.

Ryan, who drove his Fiat 500 from Hull to Peterborough, told The Sun: “We didn’t really think it through. Our 15-minute meal ended up taking us nearly seven hours.

“It was definitely a ‘F*** it’ moment which actually ended up costing me a lot of money. But I’d do it all again. It was so worth it.”

The pair were thrilled when McDonald’s announced it was reopening some UK restaurants after weeks of lockdown.

But Ryan, a customer adviser for phone firm EE, and carer Paisley were disappointed to find out the chain would not yet be operating in their home city.

Ryan added: “We realised the closest one was in Peterborough.

“But we are both are mega fans. It had been eight weeks since we last had our McNuggs, and we just thought ‘Why not?’

“Lockdown has been quite boring so we decided to make it a spontaneous, fun day out.

“We left mine at 2pm last Saturday and didn’t get home until almost 9pm.

“We took the scenic route along the coast, it was such a lovely sunny day and we were really excited.

“Even the queue was a highlight. I had my car soft-top down, blasting out Rain On Me by Lady Gaga. Everyone else there was joining in with the mini rave.

“You could tell they were just as excited as I was for my feast.

“The smell was amazing. It would have been impossible to wait until we got home.

“We were mesmerised by the food and wolfed it down so we didn’t even take a selfie with it.”

Last week McDonald’s reopened 39 drive-thrus, including six in Peterborough. Some are for collection, for delivery or both.

The chain aims to have all drive-thrus open by next month — while expecting customers to stick to the Government’s strict social distancing rules.

By then Ryan and Paisley will be hoping they only have to go to Hull and back for a Mac.


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Two children die in NHS hospital as GP warns patients are staying away

Two children die in NHS hospital as GP warns patients are staying away over fears they will contract coronavirus

  • Dr Manpinder Sahota, from Gravesend, Kent, says people are afraid of hospitals 
  • The children died at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford at around three weeks ago
  • GP wants to reassure patients that hospitals are disinfected and safe to attend
  • Medics warn avoiding hospitals and GP surgeries is a ‘ticking time bomb’ 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Two children have died in hospital as a GP raised concerns patients are staying away over fears about catching coronavirus. 

GP Dr Manpinder Sahota, from Gravesend, Kent, said a paediatric consultant called him up and voiced their concerns to him after both children suffered non-Covid related deaths at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford. 

Senior public health figures have repeatedly raised concerns about people not attending hospitals for non-coronavirus related conditions during the pandemic. 

It comes as NHS statistics revealed April was the quietest month ever for A&E departments across England with only 916,581 emergency department visits recorded.  

Priti Patel announced 351 more coronavirus deaths in Britain today, taking the official number of victims to 36,393. 

Dr Manpinder Sahota, a GP from Gravesend, Kent, said a paediatric consultant called him up to say they were worried two children had died in the Dartford hospital because of a reluctance to going to hospital

Although the A&E admission figures appear to now be returning to normal levels, NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis stated there were concerns peoples’ worries about the virus and not wanting to burden the NHS were forcing them to attempt to care for themselves instead of going to to hospital.   

Dr Sahota, who works at Pelham Medical Centre, said he wanted to get the message out to the public that people should go to hospital if necessary, especially children ‘because they are coming in very, very ill’.

Details regarding the two children’s ages and why they were admitted to hospital are yet to be disclosed. They died at the hospital around three weeks ago. 

The Mirror reported Dr Sahota said: ‘Parents were actually frightened to bring their kids in and some of them are either dying at home or it’s too late when they do get to hospital.

‘But hospitals have been cleaned and disinfected and all the Covid patients are separated – so the risk of catching it is not huge.

‘There’s a lot of people who will be dead or dying, or have a poor prognosis as a result because of these non-Covid late presentations.’

The GP said he believes the number of non-coronavirus deaths will increase dramatically in the next three to six months. 

He stated he estimates bookings to his surgery have dropped by two-thirds since the pandemic despite him trying to persuade patients to come in.   

His patients reported they were too scared to come in to the surgery also resulting in a decrease in referrals, including cancer referrals.      

During the crisis and subsequent lockdown, people have been avoiding hospitals out of fear of adding extra pressure to the NHS or catching the virus while they’re in the hospital, doctors say.

A&E departments saw fewer visitors than ever in April but NHS spokesman Stephen Powis said levels were beginning to return to normal

Medics warn the massive change in behaviour is a ‘ticking time bomb’ which may result in more people ending up seriously ill or dying in the near future because they avoided getting medical help when they needed it.

Dr Nick Scriven, of the Society for Acute Medicine, which represents hospital doctors, said the drop in A&E attendances in April was ‘a significant concern’ and people’s conditions may have worsened as a result.

‘This is a ticking timebomb in itself and it will be exacerbated by a myriad of other pressures in the coming weeks,’ he said.

‘There will be an ongoing need to keep people with coronavirus separate from others to prevent transmission, with segregated wards effectively reducing immediately available beds, so attempting to manage increased demand will be very challenging.’  

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Arrests made in case of two sisters who were ‘found dead with plastic bags over their heads and dumped off bridge’ – The Sun

POLICE have made arrests after two sisters were found dead under a bridge with bags over their heads last week.

Officers charged two men in connection with the case today, after the two women were found dumped by the Etowah River in Georgia.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has charged Desmond Brown, 38, with misdemeanour obstruction of a police officer.

Devin Watts, 36, has been charged with theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The two sisters were found underneath the East Rome Bypass bridge over the Etowah River on May 13.

Workers who found the bodies told 911 that Vanita Richardson, 19, and Clarice Truvenia Campbell, 30, had bags over their heads and that their clothes were torn.

Investigators are still looking for Ms Richardson’s car, and believe it is in Atlanta.

Floyd County Schools said the 19-year-old was due to graduate Armuchee High School at the weekend.

They wrote on Twitter: “Vanita will be remembered for being a fun-loving, humble, and motivated student who was making strong plans for her future.

“Even throughout the school closures, Vanita’s passing is felt by all.

“In particular, the staff members whose lives she touched with her caring personality and big heart.”

The investigation is ongoing, and no other charges have been filed.

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Bodies of two women are discovered at the bottom of 160ft cliffs

Bodies of two women are discovered at the bottom of 160ft cliffs near seaside town of Peacehaven in East Sussex

  • Police said the two women that were found have not yet been formally identified
  • Lifeboats and a coastguard helicopter scrambled to the cliffs near Peacehaven
  • But the women were declared dead at the scene, according to Sussex Police

The bodies of two women have been recovered after they were seen at the bottom of cliffs in Sussex.

Police said the two women have not been formally identified.

Lifeboats and the coastguard helicopter were scrambled to the cliffs near the popular seaside resort of Peacehaven.

The bodies of two women have been recovered after they were seen at the bottom of cliffs in Sussex

The women were declared dead at the scene, Sussex Police said. A spokesman confirmed the bodies had been recovered from the cliffs

The women were declared dead at the scene, Sussex Police said. A spokesman confirmed the bodies had been recovered from the cliffs.

‘Sussex Police, assisted by the coastguard, retrieved the bodies of two women from the cliffs at The Highway in Peacehaven this morning.

Lifeboats and the coastguard helicopter were scrambled to the cliffs near the popular seaside resort of Peacehaven

 A spokesman for the coastguard said: ‘HM Coastguard has this morning been assisting Sussex Police with an incident at Rushy Hill, Peacehaven’

‘Sadly, both women were declared dead at the scene. Formal identification has yet to have taken place.’

A spokesman for the coastguard said: ‘HM Coastguard has this morning been assisting Sussex Police with an incident at Rushy Hill, Peacehaven.

‘Newhaven Coastguard Rescue Team, Newhaven RNLI lifeboat and the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lydd were sent.’

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Two Russian bankers who lived UK life of luxury having riches seized

Two Russian financiers whose used Bruce Willis as the face of their collapsed bank face having their UK riches seized after racking up £730m debts amid claims they siphoned off customers’ savings

  • Financial investigators will be claiming Ilya Yurov and Nikolay Fetisov’s assets
  • The pair, who bought Russia’s National Bank Trust in 2003, have debts of £730m
  • They moved to mansions in England after fleeing Russia when NBT collapsed

Two Russian bankers, who lived in luxury in England, face having their assets seized by financial investigators after they were declared the second-biggest bankrupts in British history. 

Financial investigators are searching to claim former Russia’s National Bank Trust (NBT) shareholders Ilya Yurov and Nikolay Fetisov’s assets.

This comes after they were accused of siphoning off customers’ savings through a network of shell companies, The Times reported.

Mr Yurov, 48, and Mr Fetisov, 49, who bought NBT in 2003, have joint debts of £730million.

Mr Yurov’s wife, Nataliya Yurova, 50, paid £4.1million in 2012 without a mortgage to buy Oxney Court in Kent. The also own five other properties, worth a total of more than £6million

Mr Fetisov and his wife Elena Pischulina, 47, live at a mansion in Oxshott, Surrey bought for £4.25million in 2012 (pictured)

Mr Yurov, 48, (left) and Mr Fetisov, 49, (right) bought Russia’s National Bank Trust (NBT) in 2003 but now financial investigators claiming their assets after they were declared bankrupt

They were praised for transforming NBT and used their wealth to buy luxury mansions, expensive and chartering private jets.  

But they are now Britain’s second-biggest bankruptcy, with the biggest bankrupt believed to have been Vladimir Kekhman, who described himself as the ‘banana emperor of Russia’. 

In 2012, Mr Kekhman was declared bankrupt with £1.05billion in debt. 

The High Court in London declared Mr Fetisov and Mr Yurov as bankrupt after finding out they used 1.5million savers’ deposits to fund dozens of front companies they owned.

NBT collapsed in 2014, was rescued with a $1billion (£826million) taxpayer bailout and was later taken over by Otkritie Financial Corp.Bank in a recovery process. 

It was the 27th largest bank in Russia with more than 1.5 million depositors and 400 branches. 

By the time the bank collapsed in 2014, Mr Yurov and Mr Fetisov had fled from Russia to England, where they now live with their families in luxury. 

But their assets could be seized as Mazars accountants have been appointed to trace the bankers’ money and the offshore network.

The two bankers set up a luxury life in England after fleeing from Russia before NBT collapsed in 2014. Pictured, the indoor swimming pool at Mr Fetisov’s Surrey mansion

Mr Fetisov  also own a £1.6million flat in Chelsea and a £3.45million Moscow dacha. Pictured, an indoor cinema at his Surrey mansion

Mr Yurov’s wife, Nataliya Yurova, 50, paid £4.1million without a mortgage to buy Oxney Court in Kent in 2012. 

The couple also own two properties in Cyprus and three flats in Chelsea, London, worth a total of more than £6million, The Times reported.

Mr Fetisov and his wife Elena Pischulina, 47, live at a mansion in Oxshott, Surrey, bought for £4.25million in 2012.

The property is said to have gone up in value to £5.51million since the couple bought the home, according to Zoopla.

They hired Bruce Willis as the face of the bank for £1.5million a year. He was featured in an advertisement alongside the phrase ‘when I need money I simply take it’ (pictured)

The luxurious mansion has an indoor swimming pool that looks out onto the garden and a plush cinema.

They also own a £1.6million flat in Chelsea and a £3.45million Moscow dacha.

The Bank brought a claim against the two former shareholders and their wives when it became clear the men were involved in a serious fraud. 

They caused the bank to lend billions to offshore companies, which were secretly controlled by the two bankers.

A third shareholder, Sergey Belyaev, was also involved in the fraudulent scheme and collapse of NBT and is said to be living in America. 

Mr Yurov, 48, and Mr Fetisov, 49, who bought NBT in 2003, have joint debts of £730million. Pictured, the master bedroom at Mr Fetisov’s home

The two banker’s homes amount to much of their wealth, but the majority of their assets is said to be concealed in a network of offshore companies (pictured, Mr Fetisov’s Surrey mansion)

During the case, the High Court heard that rather than declaring the bank’s financial status, the bankers employed English ‘fixer’ Benedict Worsley to run an offshore network. 

The 52-year-old created Cyprus front companies for the bankers and arranged for them to charter superyachts and private jets, which were paid for with the bank’s funds.

The two bankers hired Die Hard actor Bruce Willis as the face of their bank for £1.5million a year. His was featured in an advertisement alongside the phrase ‘when I need money I simply take it’. 

The bankers denied wrongdoing and might appeal against the verdicts. 

The previous owner of NBT, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was once Russia’s richest man but now lives in exile in London.

But the majority of their assets is said to be concealed in a network of companies, which hid money they moved out of Russia.  

Paul Rouse, head of client services at Mazars Restructuring Services, said: ‘These individuals have amassed significant wealth and assets across the world whilst at the helm of NBT and now the process of asset recovery will begin in order to compensate NBT and the other creditors.’

The two bankers are wanted in Russia on criminal charges relating to the collapse of the bank.

Their extradition has been refused by British courts, which ruled that they would not be given fair trials.

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Two Women Just Ran 1 Mile Every Hour for Nearly 11 Days Straight

When Sally van Nuland and Cherie McCafferty began the 128th hour of the Little Dog Front Yard Challenge, they were the final two runners standing in the backyard-ultra style event. Little did they know they still had more than 100 hours, and as many miles, left to go.

As is common during the coronavirus pandemic, runners are finding creative ways to race and compete with race postponements and cancellations all over the world. This has come in many forms, but a popular one has stemmed from Big’s Backyard Ultra format created by Barkley Marathons creator Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell.

A virtual version of that event took place in April—the Quarantine Backyard Ultra— with runners completing 4.167 miles every hour until Michael Wardian won after 63 hours and 252 miles. For van Nuland and her boyfriend, Brandon Wilson, it seemed like a great way to bring their running friends together virtually.

“Brandon and I were discussing Big’s one day and how you had to be pretty elite to do something like Big’s,” van Nuland told Runner’s World. “You have to be pretty legit to do that mileage. That’s when we started talking about doing a smaller event, a Little Dog race that anyone can do.”

One mile an hour seemed manageable for the average runner. Van Nuland had previously completed a long run in the form of doing one mile an hour for 24 hours straight, so if they did this backyard-style, they could see how far and how long runners would be willing to go.

They put a no-cost event with no amenities out to a small group of friends mostly based around the southeastern United States—Wilson and van Nuland live in Greensboro, North Carolina. In less than a week, they were able to pull 47 racers to the virtual start line on April 24 at 6 p.m. ET.

Wilson, a certified race director and race timer, established the ground rules: Complete one mile outside starting at the top of every hour. Each runner would have to record each mile on Strava and also record a “1” in a Google spreadsheet for the corresponding mile.

The majority of the field dwindled quickly over the weekend, but after three full days—yes, days—five runners remained, and there didn’t appear to be any quit in them. The fifth-place runner, Wendy Murray, only bowed out because she had to return to work.

Things got even crazier as three runners made it through five days, or 120 hours/miles.

“I knew both were strong competitors and had big running accomplishments,” van Nuland says. “It was going to come down to something technical or falling asleep versus not being able to go any longer. It really consumed out lives all week.”

At 127 hours (or around 1 a.m. Friday), John Price, the last man in the race, pulled out, leaving McCafferty and van Nuland to battle it out for the top spot.

Despite battling intermittent sleep between miles, fueling, and personal lives, neither runner showed any signs of quitting. They continued mile for mile for just shy of five more days.

“A mile an hour, that was my entire life,” van Nuland said. “All I kept thinking about was going back to a normal life, if you can call it that these days. As we went past a week, I thought my new normal was going to be running a mile every hour.”

After 10 full days, controversy arose at hour/mile 243. Runner’s World has reached out to both runners to receive clarity about this controversy. Van Nuland spoke with us over the phone and posted on Facebook about it. McCafferty did not speak with us, though she did share some thoughts on the matter in a brief message, as well as in a post on her Facebook page.

Based on reports from both sides, here is what we can say: After completing the 243rd mile, van Nuland said she put her “1” on the Google spreadsheet, and she recorded her mile run on Strava. It is unclear what happened to the “1”, but it did not show up on the sheet when McCafferty looked. According to van Nuland, Wilson updated the page, which he had to do every so often and that was the likely cause. McCafferty took a screenshot and sent it to Wilson and van Nuland, who, again, live together as boyfriend and girlfriend.

McCafferty went into mile/hour 244 thinking she would win if she completed the mile, because there was no record of van Nuland’s mile on the Google spreadsheet. When McCafferty finished her mile, Wilson reached out via text and call to remedy the situation.

It is important to note that earlier in the race, runners who had Strava uploading delays were allowed to continue on as long as they could prove they completed their mile and enter their “1” later.

Upon finishing lap 244, McCafferty bowed out after thinking she had won; she believed Wilson was trying to bend the rules in favor of van Nuland because she was Wilson’s girlfriend. There was an attempt to have both women continue on because they had completed their miles, but McCafferty reportedly declined.

Wilson told van Nuland what happened after finishing mile/hour 244. Van Nuland reportedly offered to give the win to McCafferty; however, McCafferty declined.

Van Nuland continued on, completing the 245th loop and even going an additional five hours to hit 250 before stopping for good.

“It makes nobody have a real, good victory,” van Nuland said. “It makes me feel like we ran all these hours, and it’s for nothing. Nobody feels good.”

This was clearly not the way either runner wanted the race to end. Neither feels they were victorious.

But the story shouldn’t focus on the controversial ending; instead, it should be on the incredible challenge these women endured for more than 10 days (244 hours) together. They completed something that has never been seen in the running world, and they did that by going for nearly 120 hours by themselves when they had every chance to stop. Yet they persevered.

Though tempers have flared on social media in response to the controversial finish—just as they did at the end of the Quarantine Backyard Ultra—the general consensus is that both women accomplished something that should be heralded as evidence of how strong these women are, physically and mentally.

“I was afraid of how long it was going to go,” van Nuland said. “Seriously, at what point were we going to say enough is enough? I felt like we could have gone for weeks and weeks more.”

From: Runner’s World US

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Grandma completes two of the world's largest jigsaw puzzles

You might feel pretty chuffed with all the puzzles you’re completing in lockdown but grandma Anne Tempest has got you beat.

The grandma-of-four from New South Wales, Australia, has completed two of the largest puzzles on the planet.

The 65-year-old completed a 24,000 piece, 14ft 7in-long jigsaw called Life in 2015, and a 33,600 piece wildlife scene measuring a whopping 19ft 7in last year.

Retired receptionist Anne can’t put a price on what she’s spent on the hobby over her lifetime, but with individual large puzzles selling for more than $1,200 (£600) each, plus the cost of display boards and dozens litres of glue, she admitted it could easily be thousands.

Anne is now delighted that people across the globe are turning to puzzles as a way to keep their brains active during lockdown.

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She says the activity has bought her family closer and has tips for other hopeful puzzle aficionados.

Anne explained: ‘I’ve always loved jigsaws, and I’ve got more interested as time’s gone on.

‘It’s a sense of achieving a personal goal when you complete it that is so satisfying.

‘People in my town call me The Jigsaw Lady and say I could be the world’s biggest fan and should be in the record books.

Growing up, Anne’s mum would do the puzzles but she and her five siblings weren’t allowed to touch them.

And now her husband isn’t allowed to come near them or help her.

Once complete, breast cancer survivor Anne would break apart her jigsaws – even those with 12,000 or 15,000 pieces – and put them back in their boxes, sometimes calling friends first so they could come round and check out her latest creation.

But it was when she completed Life, billed as the biggest in the world at the time, that she began to consider displaying her handiwork instead – and the piece now hangs in her local hospital, Corryong Health.

However, Anne says one of the pieces is upside down and it’s driving her mad.

In 2016, Anne turned her attention to her biggest puzzle to date – the 33,600 piece wildlife scene, which again at the time was advertised as the largest on the globe.

It took her a whopping three years to finish when she lost a piece along the way.

It now hangs in Australia’s National Zoo and Aquarium.

She said: ‘When I thought I’d lost a piece, I was absolutely devastated.

‘I was even looking accusingly at our two dogs thinking one of them could have eaten it.

‘Then, when I opened one of the other bags years later, there was an extra piece – it was in there. I was so relieved to find it.’

Anne said her tips for anyone starting a new jigsaw hobby during the coronavirus lockdown is to pick an image with many different colours, to make sorting the pieces easier, and always start from the frame and work inwards.

And gran-of-four Anne admitted she is already indoctrinating her grandkids into her obsession, by buying them puzzles they can complete together.

So far, just one has escaped her clutches in her lifetime – an 18,000 piece challenge which she began eight years ago in 2012, but still hasn’t got round to completing.

She now has her sights set on purchasing her biggest challenge to date, a 51,300 piece, 29ft 5in long new release she hopes could one day be displayed in an airport.

In January when Australia’s raging bushfires came within three miles of their home, Anne had worried about her jigsaws being destroyed.

Anne said: ‘When the bushfires came, I knew I couldn’t take the jigsaws with me – but if they had gone I would have cried.

‘I don’t necessarily work on my jigsaws every day, but a rainy day is always a jigsaw day.’

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Two men explain how their friendship helped them beat Covid-19

‘Having a friend go through the same thing is what kept me going’: Two coronavirus survivors who met in hospital ward are reunited on GMB and tell how their close bond helped them beat killer infection in ICU

  • Peter Julian and Joe Vutung met while recovering from Covid-19 in hospital 
  • The pair survived an induced coma at the Wythenshaw Hospital in Manchester 
  • Both men witnessed several fellow patients dying in neighbouring beds
  • The pair said they got strength and support from each other to beat the virus 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Two men who successfully beat Covid-19 while being treated in adjacent hospital beds have spoken about the ‘unbreakable bond’ they have developed while fighting the killer disease. 

Peter Julian, 54, and Joe Vutung were both treated for coronavirus at the Wythenshaw Hospital in Manchester. 

Mr Julian had previously spoke about the devastating impact the disease had on his mental health. He admitted he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and terrible hallucinations while under the influence of the virus. 

Peter Julian, left, and Joe Vutung, right, formed a strong bond after meeting on a recovery ward in the Wythenshaw hospital in Manchester after they had been brought around from an induced coma while their bodies battled Covid-19 

Both men told hosts Piers Morgan, left, and Susanna Reid, right, what their new friendship had helped them believe that they would be able to beat the terrible disease

The pair were reunited  this morning on Good Morning Britain where they spoke Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.  

Mr Vuting spent 14 days in a coma. He said his friend Mr Julian provided him with hope and confidence to build his strength. 

Both men were in different intensive care at the same time and met each other on a recovery ward, having both witnessed several different patients dying.  

According to Mr Julian, who spent 17 days on hospital and eight on a ventilator, said: ‘Joe emanates a calm wisdom, and I emanate raging lunacy, so having someone balance me out was fantastic. 

‘I heard him talk to his family and his brother in LA, and his legion of friends. and that just lifted you. And the best bit was were were very low on postiive stories and seeing his beautiful wife and beautiful children pick him up, on I think it was Friday. We loaded his daughter up with 12 Oreo doughnuts and seeing him leave was one of the most positive and uplifting experiences of my life.’

When asked if he ever thought he was not going to survive, Mr Julian said: ‘Once I was awake and off the ventilator in intensive care I didn’t really think I was going to make it because the evidence around my eyes was that I wouldn’t, so that was clear. 

‘Once we go out the other side I thought me and all the people in the room – there was only five of us – were all going to make it and we just had to tick some boxes in terms of health, only to discover people were still not making it.

‘Having Joe there, having another friend going through the same thing, having my family and a legion of people wishing me well is what kept me going, because there were times I wanted to give up.’

Mr Vuting said: ‘My feeling was very horrible, as Pete just said he felt like he couldn’t make it because he was seeing people dying as same as myself. In the intensive ward I was in, because I wasn’t in the same ICU as Pete. 

‘So in the ICU I was in it was a bay of about seven beds, and I met six other patients, and when I came out from the coma these patients were all alive. And every morning the next day one has died. 

‘Eventually after a few days six patients have died, and I thought I was not going to make it. I was just waiting. The next day they said they were going to take me out to another ward, so I went to this next ward and met Pete.

‘It was just me and Pete their struggling, we managed to help each other.’

Peter Julian’s Covid-19 hospital diary 

Monday, March 23: Had some aches and pains. Given the news, I went onto the NHS Covid-19 checker. Based on the list, I had no symptoms and therefore guessed at worst it was some other seasonal flu.

Tuesday, March 24: I planted out some potatoes and carrots in a plot. Felt absolutely fine.

Wednesday, March 25: Woke up with aches. Given I still had no symptoms, I assumed it was either seasonal flu, me maybe over-doing the digging, or a combination of the two.

Friday, March 27: It was a lovely sunny day. I never sleep in the day, but fell asleep in the garden. So, if nothing else, I later went on to have best tan in the intensive care unit.

Weekend of March 28/29 : Started feeling breathless. Re-checked my symptoms. With exception of breathlessness, I had no others. Stayed in bed again assuming flu.

Monday, March 30 : Increasingly concerned, so I called paramedics. They came and took my vitals. No swab kits – so they said I may have Covid-19 based on some symptoms.

My profile, coupled with the observations, made them conclude I was in the two weeks/in bed/bit of paracetamol category.

They said I had none of the symptoms, re-confirming what I thought I knew and, in any case, I did not meet meet the criteria in terms of risk, age, etc.

Again, re-confirming what I thought I knew.

Wednesday, April 1 : Breathlessness increased. Decided that if it continued into the following morning, I was calling 999 regardless.

Thursday, April 2 : My wife, Carol, called an ambulance as I could not speak due to breathlessness. Had some paracetamol prior to them arriving. My temp was 39.1C versus top range of 37.5.

My blood oxygen was really low. Rushed into intensive care. I was put on a ventilator as my body could not survive unaided. They brought me off at 9am on the 7th, five days later, thinking they had won.

By 9.45pm the same day, they had put me back on as my body was unable to exist without it. Even intensive care was shocked.

What’s interesting is that from a patient view, whilst medically this is the worst part, personally it was fine. I was out of it, so unaware of anything.

I could have been on it one day or 10 years, alive or dead. I wouldn’t have known.

Friday, April 10: After nine days on the ventilator, I was brought off. This is the first instalment of difficult times.

So, whilst medically the good news is your body can now breathe, with help of massive oxygen levels, the experience is terrifying.

The best way I can describe it is imagine someone holding a cushion against your mouth and nose. Very occasionally, it slips giving you just enough breath to keep going.

Also a combination of the drugs and Covid-19 bacteria means everyone is hallucinating.

Finally remember we are all on lockdown, so no visitors Just rows of people two feet apart all going through the same terror.

Every day someone dies in front of you or has CPR. Ribs and sternums breaking all around you.

Saturday, April 11: Yippee! Moved off intensive care onto a Covid-19 specific general ward. The breathing and hallucinations continued for everyone – however this is really the start of what I can remember.

A note of caution. In your own mind, the hallucinations are absolutely real, so from here on in, whatever I say may or may not be true. Where I have fact-checked, I will mark it as true.

Otherwise, it could be either.

Another key point is everyone is suffering from a form of PTSD associated with Covid. It is a well-established fact that anyone who has been in intensive care for any reason reacts to the outcome.

Paranoia and active hallucination are part of this. How it is expressed will vary by individual. Some people just make bad decisions, some have pleasant, benign hallucinations and others have terrifying active ones, where people are coming to torture and kill you.

The cause of the hallucinations is the trauma. But it can also be the ongoing fight with bacteria, medication not yet being quite balanced for you, or something as simple as a water infection or constipation.

The benign ones I had are as follows:

I went on a cruise around the South China sea, spent a night at Lagos airport, spent a night at an aquarium. Had X-mas lights on the bed and a firework display every night.

I also told all the staff Millie [Peter’s daughter] and Carol were in Finland. Obviously, I couldn’t tell them about Millie dating Romeo Beckham, as I had signed the confidentiality clause.

I would have bet you five years’ wages this was all true.

But wherever I went in the world, weirdly the staff seemed the same and spoke with Manc accents. Who knew?

The horrifying untrue ones that I had were that people were coming to kill me. There was also a wolf in the ward, a giant and men with machetes all coming to do me immediate harm.

All I knew was that I was going to attack first and not be on the back foot.

My only problem was I was still on oxygen, could not walk at all, could not talk, was on a drip for fluids and food an on a catheter, making my fighting skills lower than their previous ‘wet paper bag’ prime.

Wednesday, April 15 : Literally first steps and first day I can talk.

Maybe managed four steps?

The horrific hallucinations get worse. I know what I need to do. Yep, pro-actively kill any man, other than my fellow patients, that I come across before they kill me. Ladies. You will be pleased to know you were all off the death list.

Thursday, April 16. 8.45am : Go to physically attack as many men as possible, armed with plastic cutlery despite not able to walk.

Security are called. I explain to the three, strong, experienced guys aged in their 30s that I am going to kill all of them.

Safe to say I was safely restrained in about 30 seconds.

My pal wakes up. He said that whilst my implementation was poor, no one could take away my ambition!

In reality, I felt dreadful.

The ‘all hands to the pump’ approach in the NHS meant some nurses knew what they were seeing was PTSD and some just thought they had a raging madman on their hands.

Carol rang about 9am-ish to ask what type of night I have had. Suffice to say, the answer wasn’t really the one she wanted.

I felt terrible. I know what these staff are going through and felt awful that I had added to their workload and worries. The guilt was crushing.

My son Tom is a junior doctor working in Covid-19 in Sheffield. He had just finished a 12-hour night shift.

He rang in to check my night.

Again, was not the answer he wanted, but he did a great job in talking me down and suggesting that maybe rather than killing all medics, I might find they were there to help me.

Friday, April 17 : Play around with meds, fluids etc and move ward.

First night of non-horrific hallucinations. Also, on solid food.

Saturday, April 18 : Released home – hoorah!

I reckon about four to nine months to deal with the physical effects- loads of body muscle gone and about 1st 8lb in weight. Then there is losing the trauma.

I reckon I saw someone die or have CPR daily and within six feet of me. That’s going to take time to process.

They reckon for everyday in an ICU, it will be around a week of recovery afterwards. 


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Father creates impressive two-storey playhouse for his daughter

Sweet escape! DIY dad creates an impressive two-storey playhouse for his daughter, 3, and reveals he spent JUST £10 on materials

  • Tom Cole, 31, from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, made a playhouse for just £10
  • He created the two-storey structure for his three-year-old daughter Mila
  • DIY fans on Facebook were impressed and branded his efforts ‘fantastic’

A father who spent just £10 on materials to create a spectacular ‘treehouse’ for his daughter, has impressed DIY fans.

Tom Cole, 31, from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, used old pallets to build an impressive playhouse for his three-year-old daughter Mila.

Images of the impressive two-storey structure sat in Tom’s back garden, follow weeks of hard work. 

Tom Cole, 31, from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, has created an impressive playhouse (pictured) for just £10

Tom brought pallets from a neighbour to create the structure for his three-year-old daughter Mila. Pictured: Tom and Mila 

Tom spent just £10 towards the pallets, which be bought from a neighbour.  

One image shows ‘little helper’ Mila perched on the treehouse mid way through construction.

Tom revealed that he had only planned to make a ‘basic’ structure, but the end result was the ‘awesome’ treehouse pictured.

A delighted Tom took to a DIY Facebook group yesterday to share the finished product.

He posted a photo of Mila enjoying her castle, captioned: ‘Grand total of £10 spent on it.

‘Stripped down a load of pallets which is the biggest pain in the a***! One happy girl.’

Tom received a stream of praise across social media, after sharing photos of the two-storey ‘treehouse’. Pictured: Mila during the construction process 

Tom’s post, which has racked up more than 4,000 likes has blown away social media users.

One group member wrote: ‘Looks fantastic, well done.’

Another said: ‘That’s awesome, lucky lady’, and a third added: ‘Mate, that is class.’

Speaking today, Tom said: ‘The only £10 I spent to be totally honest was the pallets.

Tom who has struggled to keep Mila entertained during lockdown, said the project helped to pass the time. Pictured: Mila in the finished playhouse 

‘I know they can be sourced free and the guy I get them from is happy enough to give them to me, but I wanted to give him a little something as thanks.

‘I did it slowly over the course of a few weeks. There is only so much pallet stripping one can take at a time to be fair.

‘I have found it difficult to keep Mila entertained with my other half having to be in work, but this project really did help us pass the time together, she’s a good helper.

‘I’m proud of her, that’s for sure. People say I should be proud of building it. All I aim to do is make her happy which I guess I have done.’

Tom revealed he’s proud of Mila and his aim with building the structure was to make her happy. Pictured: The finished structure

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