A landlady who feels like she's suffocating has urged others to follow Covid-19 guidelines.

Earlier this month Julie Cooper, who runs The Don bar in Stockton, County Durham started to feel seriously run down and began to have difficulties breathing.

The 56-year-old was forced to stay overnight at the University Hospital of North Tees when she struggled to take in air, Teesside Live reported.

Julie, who hopes to open a new pub, The Last Post, on Rembrance Sunday, said the virus is the worst thing she has ever had to contend with.

She said: "It's frightening, you don't know whether you are going to get through it.

Julie Cooper is suffering from Covid-19
Julie Cooper is suffering from Covid-19

"I have been in bed for nine days. I have got quite a high pain threshold so it really has hit me.

"I can't breath and when I get out of bed I feel faint. When I manage to get to the toilet, I have coughing fits and I can't breathe.

"It's like you feel yourself suffocating and you can't do anything about it. It's an awful feeling.

"You're just there for hours and hours on your own trying to breathe.

"You either get better or you get worse and end up in intensive care.

"You just have to sit and wait, that's all you can do."

Julie, who suffers from bronchitis, believes she may have contracted coronavirus from somebody who came into her bar.

Julie inside The Last Post
Julie inside The Last Post

During the first few days of her illness she called for an ambulance twice because she could not breath.

The first time the ambulance arrived she was told she was not ill enough to be taken to hospital.

The following day she was forced to call them again and was transported to University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

While staying at the hospital overnight, she underwent tests and was found to have a shadow on her lungs.

Julie said: "When the ambulance man first came out he wished me good luck. I thought 'oh god, is that it'.

"It's true - there's nothing they can do about it. They haven't got a cure for it.

"They can't give you oxygen unless your body is ready for it. It can do you more damage than good.

"When I was on the ward with coronavirus patients it was very quiet and very serious.

"There was nobody talking, most of them had masks on.

"It was subdued, it was a frightening, surreal experience.

"I take my hats off to them nurses. They really looked after me.

"I seen them in full suits, they have to wear them all day. How can they work in that? Then there's people complaining about wearing a mask.

"I feel sorry for those people who don't feel like wearing a mask.

"They need to go and look in North Tees."