A fitness fanatic, 40, has been confirmed to be infected with coronavirus despite having no underlying health conditions. He now warns young people ‘you are not invincible’ as many disobey social distancing.
A super-fit keen cyclist is fighting for his life in hospital as his wife begs younger people to be more careful as anyone could become infected with the potentially deadly coronavirus.
Daniel Schuchman, 40, an IT executive and father of four from North London, came down with COVID-19 symptoms last week and was then hospitalised three days later.
He has now spent seven days in the hospital and is struggling to walk or talk and requires constant oxygen.
His wife, Anna Schuchman, said: “There is a face and name behind every one of these statistics. Don’t think it will happen to you. Being fit and healthy and young is not a get-out clause.”
Mrs Schuchman, 38, said that her husband cycles 30 miles every Sunday morning and has no underly health conditions.
She said: “He came down with a fever on Sunday night and we could hear him coughing all the way from downstairs.
“By Tuesday, my big, tall, strapping husband was a shadow of himself. He was crumpled in his chair and he couldn’t lift his chin up.
“The following day we rushed him to hospital and we haven’t seen him since.”
Therefore, the personal trainer and nutritionist thought she would give some advice to the British public. “Whether you are young or old, healthy or overweight, take this seriously,” she said.
“You’re infectious before you get hit. It’s invisible. You can’t see where you’re leaving your germs and you can infect lots of other people. I just want everyone to stay indoors.”
After watching her husband’s breathing become very laboured and realised he was becoming confused, at one point not knowing even where he was, Mrs Schuchman realised she had to act and rushed her husband to the hospital.
She had tried over the counter drugs but he was not responding to them, he had also lost the ability to walk.
“It took me 20 minutes to get him to the toilet and I couldn’t get him out,” she said. “I started panicking. That’s when I knew it was an emergency.”
Mr Schuchman was taken to Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, which has since declared a ‘critical incident’ as its intensive care unit has become overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.
Immediately, Mr Schuchman was transferred to the emergency ward in a wheelchair and that was the last his wife saw him. He has now been in the hospital for seven days.
On the fourth day of treatment, Mr Schuchman was able to use his phone and the couple communicated through a Facetime call. Previously, his wife had had to rely on updates from the ward. Despite this, he was still unable to speak properly and could only nod or shake his head in response to questions.
Mrs Schuchman said: “He wasn’t strong enough to use his phone at first so we had to call the ward for updates.
“The doctors and nurses were rushed off their feet and you could hear the panic in their voices, but they didn’t scrimp on the time or information they gave us.
“They were absolutely amazing. Hats off to them.”
By day five, Mrs Schuchman said that her husband managed to get out a few words.
She explained: “He doesn’t have the energy to say more than one short sentence at a time.
“Speaking takes an awful lot of strength.”
She added: “There is no treatment for coronavirus, so all the doctors can do is take as much strain off the body as possible so it can fight the virus itself.
“Yesterday he had a positive morning and they tried to get him into a chair to allow oxygen to circulate into his lungs.
“Then everything plummeted and he was back to square one.”
The doctors are now hoping that Mr Schuchman has reached the ‘plateau stage’ of the virus, which means his condition will remain stable for a few days before improving.
Currently, his wife is self-isolating with their four children, aged between six and 16, as Mrs Schuchman admits to experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms herself.
She said: “I’m pretty sure we’ve all had it here.
“The main thing is that we’ve lost our sense of taste. That has recently been recognised as a symptom.
“I’ve had headaches, ringing in the ears and a tight chest. I got so out of breath teaching a workout class last week.”
She admits that being a single parent is incredibly difficult and the children are going ‘stir crazy’.
She commented: “I’ve had some awful thoughts over the past week, but Dani is more stable now. It’s going to be a long journey.”