A FIT and healthy mum-of-two was left "crying in agony" with coronavirus that "came on instantly".
Jess Marchbank, 32, initially developed a mild sore throat but became bedridden just hours later as her body felt like it was on fire.
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The former paediatric nurse, who said she has no underlying health symptoms, ultimately had to be rushed to hospital as she struggled to breathe.
Jess today said she had initially started to suffer from a sore throat on Friday night, March 20.
But as she put her two young children to bed at the family home in Westward Ho! that night, she said her symptoms "came on in an instant".
She ended up being rushed to hospital by paramedics and taken to a specially made isolation cubicle where she received oxygen therapy, blood tests, swabs and x-rays.
Describing her symptoms, she said: "I had the worst headache ever. I couldn't see properly, felt like I'd been hit over the head.
"Then it just got worse overnight. I was crying in agony as my joints felt like they were on fire.
"My chest was killing me."
Jess, a mum to two kids under five, then developed a high temperature of 38.5 and a dry cough.
She added: "I couldn't get out of bed if I'd tried. I knew it was coronavirus as I'd never felt anything like this pain before."
Jess rang 111 and was told to continue to self-isolate, with the mum staying in bed all through Saturday and Sunday.
But her condition worsened, losing her sense of taste and smell, while she also said she developed cyanosis (a blueish cast to the skin).
She said she felt light-headed and dizzy as she was not getting enough oxygen.
Jess said: "I was all mottled and couldn't catch a breath so we ended up calling 999 and being taken to A&E (at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple)."
Ultimately, Jess was discharged yesterday and allowed to return home to Westward Ho! and her family.
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However, she is still struggling with coughing and a sore chest.
As she recovers, Jess said she wasn't sure where she had contracted the virus from, with her family having already been practising social distancing.
But she added: "I still can't get my head around it all. It's like we are living inside a Stephen King novel.
"These are such testing times for us all."
The UK death toll has continued to climb this week, reaching more than 400 deaths while 9,000 cases have been recorded.
It comes after a 36-year-old mum died of suspected coronavirus hours after paramedics visited her at home and told her she was "not a priority".
Kayla Williams, 36, died at her flat in Peckham, South London on Saturday, a day after her husband called 999 when she fell ill.
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