24 November 2020
A frontline health care worker who was one of the faces of a Victorian Government advertising campaign urging Australians to take COVID-19 seriously has told Channel 9’s A Current Affair he’s still experiencing body aches and pain five months after being hospitalised with the virus.
Sam Martin, 26, and his partner Sarah Robson, 30, who both work at Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital, are still suffering from respiratory issues despite no longer being infectious.
"Still feels like you've got the flu lingering around and got a bit of brain fog going on," Mr Martin told A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw.
"Definitely not as sharp as I used to be.
“Our oxygen levels still aren’t back to where they should be.’’
Mr Martin said he was quite shocked by the ongoing effects, considering neither he nor Sarah were in the high-risk group for COVID-19 and given how long it has been since they contracted the virus.
"Not having that mental clarity that we normally have, having to think through things that we'd normally do without, you know, having to think at all," Mr Martin told ACA.
"And even just being able to formulate sentences and articulate things the way we want, it's a bit more a struggle then it ever has been."
Mr Martin and Ms Robson are both participating in research with a health care team examining long-term effects of the virus.
Mr Martin said while Ms Robson is slowly improving, she is still too unwell to speak to A Current Affair and her energy levels are still very low.
"She still is struggling day to day; her lungs were affected quite a bit more than mine were and there's a bit of scaring still there," he said.
Mr Martin reiterated "the virus doesn't discriminate", a similar message to what the pair urged Australians to understand in the earlier ad campaign.
He said there was still a way to go before they are able to go back to working full time again.
"We've been really well supported by our colleagues to return to work but still in quite a limited capacity for the time being," he said.