Throughout the various lockdowns and government restrictions last year, Abdul Hussain admits he didn't always stick by the rules.

The 35-year-old said he would wear his mask infrequently, didn't make an effort to cut down his interactions, and would visit other people's houses.

Looking back, Abdul, from Newport, admits he didn't really believe that the Covid-19 virus was anything much to worry about.

That was until December last year when he began developing breathing problems he first thought was a symptom of asthma.

A short time later, he found himself on a ventilator at the Grange University Hospital in Llanfrechfa fighting for his life while battling distressing hallucinations brought on by the medication he was given.

Thankfully after more than a month in hospital Abdul began to recover and was eventually sent home.

He is now full of gratitude to the doctors, nurses and support staff who helped save his life.

Abdul now wants to spread the message to others that they should adhere to restrictions and obtain their vaccinations.

"I was going out, I was meeting with people," he said.

"I didn't follow the guidelines. I'm being honest.

"I didn't believe it at all. I was going out every day. I didn't stay indoors. I saw a lot of people were out as well."

Abdul said he now takes heed of all government and medical advice
Abdul said he now takes heed of all government and medical advice

Abdul lives in the Maindee area of Newport with his partner and his mother.

The former restaurant waiter said he began to feel unwell with breathing difficulties shortly before Christmas last year.

On December 24, an ambulance took him to hospital and the following day he was admitted to the intensive care department at the Grange University Hospital.

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Many of the details of what happened during his time in hospital are unclear to him, he said, due to deliriums he experienced while under the influence of powerful medication and sedatives.

"On Christmas Day I went into intensive care and I was in 38 days on the ventilator," he said.

"I remember I was in the Grange in a room and I looked outside and I could see a nice view. They were doing work outside and when I was in the room I can see a telephone mast.

"At the time I didn't know where I was but I realised I was in Cwmbran and that this was the Grange.

"Next thing I'm even more delirious and when I woke up I told them to call Crimewatch because I thought someone had murdered me. I was seeing things in my head.

"They told my family that because of the drugs they were giving me like sedation and steroids that was affecting my mental state."

This picture of intensive care staff at the Grange University Hospital working during the height of the second wave was taken by operating theatre practitioner Glenn Dene

Abdul said he was given a tracheotomy and was unable to speak throughout his time in hospital.

He was eventually discharged on February 17 and has spent the intervening time recovering at home.

Now he wants to encourage people to take the virus seriously and adhere to government and medical professional's advice.

Abdul said he is particularly concerned about vaccine uptake and compliance among black and minority ethnic groups and others within his community.

"I want people to follow the guidelines," he said.

"I want people to take the injections and not listen to the misinformation.

"We have to trust the NHS and I'm very lucky to be here. If I was in Bangladesh I wouldn't have survived. I was born in the UK but my parents are from Bangladesh.

"I went to a few houses that I shouldn't have done. I have got nephews and nieces and I was like come and see me. They said no only when the government says we will come and see you.

"The young children, they understand."

He added: "I'm asking everyone to take the jab and not listen to the misinformation and listen to the government.

"I'd like to say to say to people out there that you can risk three-day side effects, which will go, rather than be hospitalised."