'It was gut wrenching' - Mum's Covid message after son, 12, hospitalised

The intensive care units at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have been full since before New Year due to the pressure from...

Ipswich Hospital, where the 12-year-old was treated for Covid - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A 12-year-old Ipswich boy is recovering at home after a "gut-wrenching" battle against Covid in hospital.

Claire Burgoyne says the staff at Ipswich Hospital saved her son Mason's life and is calling for people to support the temporary visitor restrictions due to Covid.

All Suffolk hospitals are suspending visits for three weeks from October 27 due to the Covid infection rise. There are some exceptions to the new rules, including for parents of children.

However, Claire told how she could not stay with Mason, because she had Covid herself and could not risk infecting others.

"It has been the most gut-wrenching experience of our lives, but these nurses and doctors saved his life," she said. 

"People need to realise Covid is real. I keep hearing people saying Covid's a joke - they don't think children can get seriously ill with it, but they can."

Claire urged anyone with a child aged 12 to 15 to get them vaccinated as soon as possible.

She said: "Mason will be getting the vaccine as soon as he is able to."

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Mason caught Covid at school, and his mum three days later. She had been double-jabbed and didn't have it as badly, but still felt quite ill.

Daughter Esmai, aged nine, also tested positive, but did not develop symptoms.

After battling coronavirus for seven days, last Wednesday Mason's condition worsened.

"It's been horrific. I was looking after him at home and then I phoned the doctors when he got worse," his mum said.

She said the levels of oxygen in his blood had been really low, and he was admitted to hospital because he was so poorly.

"They said the Covid had got on his lungs and if they couldn't stabilise him on the children's ward he would have to go into intensive care."

Fortunately, this wasn't necessary, as the teenager's condition improved with treatment.

He returned home on Sunday, Claire said: "He is slowly recovering, but there are a couple of things they will need to check.

"He is still quite scared because he has been through a trauma."  

She was full of praise for the way the nurses cared for Mason and kept in touch with her throughout.

"They said, you can't be here but we will look after him like a mum. The nurses were crying when I had to leave him - they were upset as well."

On the subject of the visitor restrictions, she said: "The doctors and nurses are putting their lives at risk for us and we just need to back what they say and support them."

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