Woman who became seriously ill with Covid in Vietnam writes book
A FORMER theatre nurse has told how she found herself in hospital fighting for her life on the other side of the world.
Shan Barker, 68, from Mersea, decided to pen a 100-page book recollecting the incredible sequence of events which started when she caught Covid-19 while on a flight from London to Hanoi in Vietnam.
Her book, titled A Diverse Nurse Thanks Vietnam, was written in the summer of 2020, a few months after Mrs Barker and her husband were hospitalised with Covid-19 and put on ventilators at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Vietnam.
Mrs Barker had travelled to Asia with her husband at the beginning of March 2020 to visit her son – before a single Covid-related death had been confirmed in the UK.
Only 11 cases had been officially confirmed in Vietnam at the time she and her husband arrived.
But the flight they had boarded contained a super spreader, and she and numerous other passengers went on to contract Covid.
“It was an experience-and-a-half,” she said.
“We got a knock on the door at six o’clock in the morning when we were on a cruise ship telling us we couldn’t leave our room – the next thing we know we’re under flashing lights on our way to a hospital.
“No English was spoken – it was just ‘Do not leave room. Passenger infected’.”
Mrs Barker became seriously ill and had to be put on a ventilator.
In her darkest moments, she thought she was going to become a victim of the virus.
“I was writing with a pen on my hospital bedsheet that I didn’t think I was going to survive – I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
“I thought ‘This is it’.”
She spent six weeks in isolation before being greeted by a media scrummage when she left the hospital.
“When we were ushered out, the press was all camped outside and the national TV station did a documentary where I was interviewed.
“I almost became a mini-celebrity – it was all a bit surreal,” she said.
Mrs Barker’s book, which is now on sale on Amazon, will be launched formally at West Mersea Yacht Club today at 6pm.
She will then hold another event at the same time tomorrow at the Coast Inn.
Mrs Barker does not intend to make any money from sales of the book, adding she intends to donate any profits to charities helping children undergoing chemotherapy.
By Daniel Rees. This article was first posted here.