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How an Aussie father survived being stranded in a tiny hospital ward in West Africa surrounded by rubbish after being struck down by COVID-19

How an Aussie father survived being stranded in a tiny hospital ward in West Africa surrounded by rubbish after being struck down by COVID-19
  • Perth father feared for his life when he contracted COVID-19 in West Africa
  • Gareth Jones had flown to West Africa to work at a gold mine
  • He said he found himself in a hospital surrounded by rubbish and feces 
An Australian FIFO worker says he feels lucky to be alive after catching coronavirus in West Africa. 
Perth father Gareth Jones flew to Bokino Farso for work at the Bissa Gold Mine but started showing symptoms of the deadly disease shortly after arriving.
Mr Jones told Nine News the fever was the first thing to strike him down followed by uncontrollable coughing. 
He was rushed to a local hospital where his condition continued to worsen. 
Perth father and FIFO worker Gareth Jones (pictured) feared for his live when he caught COVID-19 after flying into Western Africa
Perth father and FIFO worker Gareth Jones (pictured) feared for his live when he caught COVID-19 after flying into Western Africa
Mr Jones (pictured) travelled to West Africa to work at a gold mine but immediately got a fever and got an uncontrollable cough, it was COVID-19 and he was rushed to hospital but he feared for his life because of the condition of the hospital combined with having the virus
Mr Jones (pictured) travelled to West Africa to work at a gold mine but immediately got a fever and got an uncontrollable cough, it was COVID-19 and he was rushed to hospital but he feared for his life because of the condition of the hospital combined with having the virus
Doctors decided Mr Jones would be transported two hours across rough terrain to a larger hospital in Ouagadougou for treatment. 
But Mr Jones said the conditions in the hospital left him fearing for his life.  
'You could just see the rubbish and there was faeces and people lying everywhere, it was pretty confronting,' Mr Jones said. 
For six hours he was left alone on his hospital bed struggling to breath after his oxygen ran out.  
‘I thought I was going to die, I thought this is it, but I didn’t even have the energy, I couldn’t talk without coughing,' he said. 
On a handful of occasions Mr Jones was told a mercy flight had been scheduled for him but it was repeatedly cancelled.
In the course of 10 days the FIFO worker lost 16 kilograms.  
His mother back in Australia was finally able to organise a flight for him to Switzerland and he was flown out of West Africa a short time later. 
Mr Jones said the moment he was able to hug his daughters again was 'special' and he was happy and relieved to be home and recovered.  
Mercy flights to get Mr Jones (pictured) out of West Africa were cancelled repeatedly until his mother was able to organise a flight for him to Switzerland
Mercy flights to get Mr Jones (pictured) out of West Africa were cancelled repeatedly until his mother was able to organise a flight for him to Switzerland

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