The heartbroken family of a dad currently in a coma after contracting Covid have been told he had just a 50 per cent chance of survival.
Loved ones say the 41-year-old was fit and healthy before contracting the deadly virus, having never taken day off sick from his job as a carpenter.
Eldest daughter Ebonnie, 21, said: “We are all broken beyond words.
“He was really healthy, he would go to the gym all the time. We’d never have thought something like this could have affected him so severely.”
Wife Becky, 40, said yesterday: “James was never poorly and never had a day off work in his life. It’s heartbreaking to see him like that.
“He’s not showing any signs of improvement. The doctors tell me his survival rate is 50 per cent.
“I’m an absolute emotional wreck.”
James had no known underlying health conditions. He was waiting for his second Covid vaccine when he fell ill with the virus on October 19.
Since then he has suffered other complications including a collapsed lung, sepsis, blood clots and pneumonia.
James has been transferred from his local hospital, Frimley Park in Surrey, to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where he is on one of the UK’s five specialist Ecmo machines.
The device temporarily takes over the work of the heart and lungs, pumping blood from the body to an artificial lung that adds oxygen to it and removes carbon dioxide.
Becky, who got together with James 12 years ago before they married in 2019, added: “We are in absolute hell.
“When I manage to get some sleep I keep dreaming that Jim is home and well. Then I wake and it’s like a smack in the face as reality hits me.
“All of the children are devastated and missing their dad terribly. Some of the older children have been to see him, but the rules for visitation are one person a day for one hour.”
James, a carpenter and window fitter from Frimley, has children as young as 10, plus five grandchildren. The family have launched a GoFundMe appeal.
Ebonnie added: “The last thing we wanted to do is ask for help but nothing could have prepared us for the situation we are in.
“My dad has always been a very hard working family man, starting working as soon as he was old enough to to support his family.
“He’s been an amazing father to us eight children.
“If he survives this, his life will be very different. He will need adapted living, home oxygen and will find every day very hard. His recovery will take years, he will never fully recover.”