Fred Jackson was one of the 2700 passengers aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship that docked in Sydney in March.
He and his partner were self-isolating at home when they both started feeling unwell.
“About a week after we had gotten off the cruise we started feeling very weak and stopped eating – so I called up my doctor and he said we needed to go and get tested for COVID,” Fred said.
“Our tests both came back positive.”
Fred’s daughter Mary, a former Occupational Therapist at Royal North Shore Hospital, could tell her dad’s health had deteriorated from their phone calls.
“After speaking with him [Fred] I could just tell he needed to get to hospital, so I called up RNSH right away and about an hour later a nurse turned up at his house and took him straight to the emergency department,” Mary said.
Fred was taken to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and was put on high-flow oxygen. He was in the ICU for a few days before being moved to the COVID ward to recover.
All up Fred was in hospital for just under a month before he could return home, and during that time he said everyone who looked after him helped keep his spirits up.
“I was so overwhelmed with the kindness from everyone – from the nurses and doctors to the cleaners and food servers,” Fred said.