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Karl Darlow calls on footballers to take Covid vaccine after opening up on his battle with coronavirus

Karl Darlow calls on footballers to take Covid vaccine after opening up on his battle with coronavirus

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Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow has revealed his serious Covid-19 illness persuaded some of his team-mates who were vaccine hesitant to get jabbed.

The 30-year-old was struck down with the virus in July, and was so ill that he was placed on a hospital drip for three days.

Darlow lost five kilograms in weight, and is only now back in contention for a first-team place at Newcastle.

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The goalkeeper feels he caught the virus at the final of Euro 2020, and is urging unvaccinated players to get jabbed in order to protect themselves.

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“I ended up driving myself into hospital about 11 or 12 o’clock at night, just so I could get hydrated, because I wasn’t able to swallow with my glands so swollen,” he told the BBC. “I was severely worried.

“When it was at it’s worst…I didn’t want it to affect my breathing. I knew that if I could get in and get on a drip and get the food and water into myself, I’d be okay but there’s always a thing, in the back of your mind, that if it does get into your breathing, then you are in serious trouble.

“Obviously your family’s panicking.”

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Long Covid has affected scores of people, and Darlow says he suffered “awful fatigue” for weeks – and was sleeping twice a day.

“It was probably two or three weeks, even after I’d been diagnosed, that I was still going home sleeping in the afternoon for two, three hours and then after probably 9-10 hours at night,” he said.

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“I had nearly every single symptom I think. The hot and cold, diarrhoea, everything, it wasn’t nice. Weight wise, I wasn’t able to eat or drink for three or four days, so I ended up losing about five kilos. I don’t think Lucy, my partner, could believe just how gaunt I was in the face and how much weight I had lost.”

Darlow feels his fight with coronavirus has persuaded some of his team-mates to get vaccinated.

“I think seeing how I was probably convinced them to go and get it done,” he said. “So it’s tough, because everyone who isn’t having it has their own reason, and sometimes it’s hard to convince or go into deep conversation with your team-mates about getting vaccinated if they have a very good reason, and you can’t force it upon people.

“I just thought it wouldn’t have that massive effect on me if I did catch it. I think there are a lot of people that are thinking that way [but] there are numerous cases now that are younger people and unfortunately, people are not recovering and others are taking a substantial amount of time to come back.

“You don’t want to go through it and risk your health.”

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