A 32-year-old Fermanagh man who has just been released from hospital after battling Covid-19 on and off for three months has spoken of his urgent need to find accommodation so he can safely shield from the killer virus.

Caimin O’Shea who has XLA, a genetic condition which effects the immune system, said without two different types of treatment he “wouldn’t have gotten better”.

For three months Caimin fought the coronavirus but every time he seemed like he was better and able to leave hospital, the symptoms would return days later.

“Some people are calling it long form or long haul where the virus isn’t recovering,” explained Caimin.

“I basically kept showing signs of recovery and getting out and then the virus would just come back again.

“I was released from hospital for a few days three times and every time I ended up basically having to go back in again. Because the symptoms would stop, I would get out and after a few days they would come back again.

“But essentially I was in hospital for a few months apart from four days out or five days out in between and then back in for up to two and half weeks.”

While in hospital Caimin agreed to using two alternative types of medicine which were not widely available in the UK, Remdesivir an antiviral medication and a blood transfusion which put the immune cells from a person who had successfully recovered naturally from the virus into Caimin’s body.

“There was Remdesivir, which wasn’t in use in the UK at that time and I had to sign a waiver because they were using an unlicensed medicine that they were able to get for me because there was no sign of me recovering. And also convalescent plasma which was basically just like the immune cells of a person who has already recovered naturally from Covid, so like a blood transfusion. Those two things in tandem basically, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have gotten better.

“Through the period the only reason I got out of hospital was because I was able to receive the treatment.”

Those treatments did work and Caimin has been out of hospital for over a week but due to having XLA he has not been able to build up an immunity to Covid-19 and could catch it again at any time.

And with being in such a vulnerable situation, Caimin is in the process of looking for suitable accommodation for himself as he has to shield from people.

Currently living with his girlfriend, he will have to move out when she goes back to work next week.

He can then move in with his mother but she will be returning to work in a number of weeks.

“It’s just complicated because it’s the way people’s lives interact with each other and also if those people are working or socialising they present a danger to me. So on both fronts, there is the safety for me issue but alternatively those people need to work.

“It’s a lose lose situation, there is no way to feasibly do it. Basically I need to stay by myself or in a place where whoever is with me is in a caring role and that means getting a place of my own or unless I’m staying with someone who is working from home.”

Caimin has begun his application with the relevant organisations to find suitable accommodation but has limited time to find somewhere and he does not want to put himself in a situation where he is susceptible to contracting the virus again.

“I can’t come back to my job which is why I’m moving home because in Belfast I was working with the public.

“I’ll not be working or doing too much socialising so that means my whole life is shaken up in terms of relationships, work and living situation.

“And then it’s basically down to making a choice of you can still do things if you want but everything is a risk.

“When it floored me for three months you don’t fancy taking the risk and then end up being sick for another three months. I still have options for now but none of them are viable long term.”