Local coronavirus patient writes her way to recovery

Alys Morgan

Librarian Alys Morgan has written a book about her experiences as a patient on a coronavirus ward. And as a thank you for the support she received during her long recovery, she’s donating 10 per cent of the book’s sales to Conwy Mind.

Alys, who lives in Abergele, was an early coronavirus case – contracting the virus at the beginning of the pandemic in April. She was assigned a bed in one of the first coronavirus wards in Glan Clwyd Hospital, as staff struggled to cope with the rapid increase in admissions. Scared and isolated – without visitors, books or newspapers – she turned to her diary to make sense of her confusion and fear during her hospital stay.

Those diary entries became ‘Ward Nine: Coronavirus – One Woman’s Story”, printed this month by Welsh publishers Parthian Books. And Alys credits her Conwy Mind counsellor with her decision to turn her diary notes into a book.

“It helped me to come to terms with my experience, said Alys. “I was assigned a mental health counsellor  as part of my aftercare package when I  was discharged from hospital because I was stressed and anxious and found it hard to speak. 

I didn’t want to see anyone and I think I had survivor’s guilt. My counsellor at Conwy Mind contacted me every week and suggested that I used my experiences as the basis of my book- and it helped me to speak again!”

Alys, a part time librarian at Coleg Llandrillo Menai in Abergele, still suffers from post-viral fatigue and chest pains and she urges people with ‘unexplained’ symptoms to push for coronavirus testing.

“I was admitted to hospital with gastro-enteritis – coronavirus wasn’t suspected initially, she said

I had no breathing problems and I didn’t lose my sense of taste and smell until I left hospital. This awful virus seems to affect people very differently.”

“I was admitted to hospital with gastro-enteritis – coronavirus wasn’t suspected initially, she said

I had no breathing problems and I didn’t lose my sense of taste and smell until I left hospital. This awful virus seems to affect people very differently.”

Ward Nine: Coronavirus, described as ‘one of the first testimonies to be published from a patient’s perspective,’ is available in paperback from local bookshops, Waterstones and Amazon, or direct from https://www.parthianbooks.com/

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