WHO says 'unknown pneumonia' is on their 'radar'

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In July 2018, Richard Bacon revealed on Twitter that he had pneumonia across both of his lungs; then three years later, he paid tribute to the life-saving NHS. “Tbt [throwback Thursday] 1st July 2018. Happy 3rd [sic] birthday to this. Thank you @nhslewisham for letting me see it. Love you deeply the Lewisham A&E gang. Love you deeply the Lewisham ICU gang,” he posted on Instagram. The father-of-two, to Arthur and Ivy, described his ordeal as one his “hardest moments”.

“Coming out of the coma was the worst day of my life,” he shared on Good Morning Britain, months on from his recovery.

“Being told I needed to go into a coma was the most shocking. Coming out of it was the worst. You hallucinate and it takes about 14 hours to come out properly.”

When medics stood by with resuscitation equipment, his wife, Rebecca, rubbed his feet and said: “Don’t walk towards the white light.”

Reflecting back, Richard is unsure whether his wife was kidding or not, and he was “very, very, close to death”.

Respiratory failure requires admittance to the intensive care unit (ICU), just like how Richard was.

“Most people respond well to treatment, but it may be several weeks or months before you’re well enough to leave hospital,” the NHS noted.

The condition, however, is gravely serious as one in three people who develop the complication “will die”.

“For those who survive, the main complications are linked with nerve and muscle damage, which causes pain and weakness,” the NHS added.

He confessed: “She was waiting with the phone by the bed for the call to come that her husband had died.”

Recounting the traumatic experience, Richard shared: “They went from telling me I needed to be in an induced coma to being in a coma in four minutes.

“They said to me afterwards, ‘It wasn’t that you might die, we expected you to die.’ I was the illest person in Lewisham hospital.”

Richard’s oxygen levels dipped to 70 percent while in hospital, edging towards brain damage and death if it fell any lower.

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A post shared by Richard Bacon (@richardpbacon)

“The infection was winning,” Richard said of the moment. “They kept saying to Rebecca, ‘He is very ill.'”

How did pneumonia cause an induced coma?

The NHS first explained what pneumonia is: “Pneumonia is swelling (inflammation) of the tissue in one or both lungs. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection or a virus.”

The symptoms of pneumonia might develop quickly, within 48 hours, or take longer to appear across several days.

The signs of pneumonia might include a cough, difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a high temperature, and a loss of appetite.

Moreover, the condition could also lead to bouts of sweating, shivering, and a general feeling of malaise.

One possible complication of pneumonia is known as “pleurisy”, which is one the linings between your lungs and ribcage become inflamed.

Warning signs of pleurisy are stabbing chest pains when you breathe and sometimes pain in the shoulder.

Such a health complication could lead to respiratory failure, which is a life-threatening condition.

Respiratory failure requires admittance to the intensive care unit (ICU), just like how Richard was.

“Most people respond well to treatment, but it may be several weeks or months before you’re well enough to leave hospital,” the NHS noted.

The condition, however, is gravely serious as one in three people who develop the complication “will die”.

“For those who survive, the main complications are linked with nerve and muscle damage, which causes pain and weakness,” the NHS added.

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