"It was a shock to have COVID-19. You really don't think it'll happen to you."

In February this year, the Janes family - Ken, Ann and their 20-year-old son Angus, all tested positive for COVID-19 after being in close contact with family friends who had it.

While Ann and Angus self-isolated and recovered at home, Ken experienced more intense symptoms and needed hospitalisation at Austin Health for five days.

“The first symptom was that I’d lost a fair bit of my sense of taste. When I was at home, I’d made myself an orange juice and couldn’t really taste it. I thought to myself, these oranges are pretty useless. I didn’t know that loss of taste could mean I had COVID-19.”

He also experienced more heavy coughing and at his worst, his breathing was at 65% of its normal rate and he had a bad temperature.

“One minute I’d be asking the staff for blankets, the next minute it felt like I was in a sauna,” said Ken.

These symptoms lasted 48 hours, before his temperature broke.

“After this, I started to feel better as each hour passed and eventually, I was well enough to go home.”

Ken feels really grateful for the support and care received from staff at Austin Health.

“The doctors, nurses, cleaning and food services staff did such a great job looking after me.”

However, Ken says that he wouldn’t be able to recognise any of them.

“Their faces were always covered with PPE. I’m just so impressed with the level of preparedness and hygiene they practice when doing their job.”

Ken explains that when he was in the COVID-19 Ward, everything was so well thought through and practically nothing left his room once it was brought in.

“Even the plates I ate from where disposed of. The amount of effort they went through to keep me and others safe was incredible.”

The Janes family have all since made a full recovery. 

The Janes family

The Janes family with their masks on.