Published: 17:23, 29 July 2020
| Updated: 18:57, 29 July 2020
A father who spent 50 days in hospital fighting Covid-19 has opened up about his long road to recovery from the deadly virus.
Darren Moore, from Swanley, was in a coma at Darent Valley Hospital for a month as doctors suspected the previously healthy 47-year-old would not survive.
KMTV's Joe Coshan speaks to Darren and Lisa Moore about his long road to recovery from Covid-19
But despite coming through his worst moments and returning home in May after a huge ordeal for him and his family, the battle is not over.
He says while he has more good days, the bad days he faces hit him extremely hard and it might be 18 months before he fully recovers.
Speaking to KMTV today from his home, Darren said: "The recovery period is longer than the hospital stay.
"Consultants told me that anyone who's been in a coma for whatever reason it takes a week for every day you've been in that coma.
"With Covid, and in my case the diabetes, that recovery is going to take a lot longer.
"I feel stronger than I did 18 weeks ago but there's still a long way to go.
"I can't walk very far and everything is an effort. For the last five weeks the good days have outweighed the bad days. But the bad ones are bad with a lot of pain in my legs and the body generally as the muscles rebuild themselves.
"I lose appetite if I have a bad day and can't be bothered to do anything because I know whatever I do is going to hurt.
"But you do get good days. We've been out for day trips and had friends over as we've been able to and been out to see friends so I've been out and about."
Darren says the fatigue he suffers daily is the biggest thing he is now working to overcome and spends most days in bed or on the sofa.
"The fatigue is a strange one – you don't feel tired or sleepy but you feel worn out," he says.
"It's like you've done a big stint of exercise like two games of football and you can't do any more and just need to lay down.
"My muscles start tensing up and when that happens I get sharp shooting pains and that stops me from going to sleep naturally.
"Insomnia is part of the symptoms and those three things just destroy your day.
"I've been given sleeping tablets and other products but none of it works."
The family faced a huge upheaval when Darren was finally discharged from hospital and even every day tasks many take for granted became a huge challenge for Darren, wife Lisa and daughter Daisy to handle.
Lisa said: "It was terrible and awful. He couldn't do anything and I was doing everything for him. Even having a bath took two hours but obviously we've passed that stage.
"Things are better – they're not 100% but they are better."
Darren added: "It's the little things people take for granted.
"Even something as simple as having a bath on my own but I couldn't, lifting the kettle up and just walking really.
"I could hardly get up at all. Now I'm up to half a mile or three quarters of a mile if I really push myself."
But it is not just the physical challenges which Darren is having to fight but the mental ones about life returning to normal and getting back to work.
He admits on the bad days it "plays on my mind" whether life will ever go back to normal.
"I try not to think about it but it is there," he said. "Will I ever be able to go out on the bike with Daisy, run around to my mates if I need something and I just don't know if I can?
"I was a very active person before this – even walking to the bus stop and things like that I can't do is very frustrating.
"I think people need to be more aware of the worst case scenario..."
"That's one of the strongest emotions I get – not doing something I want when I want.
"The fight I'm having now is a better one than when I was in a coma and on the various drugs in the hospital. I've got to be grateful I came out of the hospital visit and I'm just putting myself together again."
Lisa added: "It does scare me to think will he ever be that person again.
"But we have to be positive and think he will be alright but it's a battle every day.
"I'm positive he'll be alright because he's arrogant and stubborn."
The couple have now urged people to be more aware of the worst case scenario catching the virus can lead to and have been critical of those complacent about its dangers.
Darren said: "I think people need to be more aware of the worst case scenario – which is obviously not coming out of hospital.
"The worst it can be is what I had and several other people have seen. Social distancing is fine but so many are not doing it.
"I've seen people doing it and then walking past those not so almost by default those doing it aren't. It's just dangerous."
Lisa also had a clear message for people who say they won't catch Covid-19: "You don't know that," she says. "Darren was a healthy guy before and he got it.
"I know loads of people who have had it but you can't say I'm never going to get it."
The family are now looking ahead and targeting events for the rest of the year to enjoy including a sea fishing competition in Deal and of course, Christmas, as Darren begins to slowly build up his list of every day activities.
"We're not going on holiday but have had a couple of days out," Lisa added.
"He's driven the car which was a momentous occasion and only went to pick the Chinese up but still had driven the car."