A NEW anti-viral Covid treatment helped a Cumbernauld dad recover in time to see his daughter score a try in a rugby final at Murrayfield.
Those in Lanarkshire with Covid-19 who have certain medical conditions are being offered new treatments to help manage symptoms and reduce more serious illness.
A number of eligible patients have received letters from the Scottish Government letting them know that because of the conditions they have, they may be eligible to receive one of the new treatments available for Covid-19.
Nearly 1300 people in Lanarkshire have been through the assessment process with more than 800 of those receiving treatment since December 2021.
Mike Flynn, a 65-year-old martial arts teacher, was eligible to take advantage of the treatment as he has chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Mr Flynn, who moved from Alameda in the San Francisco Bay area to Cumbernauld in 2005, said: “I woke up on the morning of Monday, March 21 with some flu-like symptoms including feeling muscle-tired and a sore throat so I went for a Covid-19 test. My daughter had tested positive a few days before.
“I got my positive test result back on Tuesday morning. I had a letter from the NHS saying that I might be eligible for Covid treatment as I have a compromised immune system, so I called the number that morning.
“The person I spoke to couldn’t have been more helpful and put me at ease. They said I would get a call back within a couple of hours from a clinician. By 10.30am I had a call back from a nurse practitioner who said based on the information I gave her, I would be eligible for this treatment and walked me through the steps.
“By 1.3opm, a courier had delivered the medication directly to my house and I took the first dose straight away. By the next morning I still had a sore throat, but all my other symptoms had gone, and I began feeling a lot better and could feel the benefit of the pills. It was magic.”
Mr Flynn described the process as the “perfect experience”.
He added: “There were two different types of pills that I had to take for five days, three pills in the morning and then three pills in the evening for a five-day course of treatment.
“I took my lateral flow tests on day six and seven and both were negative, so I was able to make it to see my daughter Nicole playing a rugby cup final at Murrayfield and the next day I was back teaching martial arts.”
Nicole plays rugby for Stirling County’s under-18 sqaud and the national under-18 team.
Mr Flynn said: “They were in the under-18 cup final against Edinburgh Harlequins and she scored the first try in a 69-12 win. That was nice to see.
“The following week she came off the bench to score the winning try for Scotland under-18s against Italy.
“It was a lucky break I was able to come out of Covid isolation in time to see my daughter score a try in the end. I think that was down to the treatment too for helping me recover so quickly.”
Mr Flynn, whose wife Julie is an advanced nurse practitioner at University Hospital Wishaw, would encourage others to get the treatment if they are eligible.
He added: “I had a great result and the process was so easy. I would encourage others who get the letter and qualify for treatment to take up the opportunity.
“I feel great now, back to doing my normal daily routine. I teach martial arts so I’m back doing that now. I’ve been teaching aikido martial arts in Chryston since 2005 and teaching professionally since 1982.”
Dr Lucy Munro, medical director for Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire, thanked all those who have “worked tirelessly” to deliver the service during “challenging times”.
Dr Munro added: “These new treatments can help make Covid symptoms less severe, make complications less likely and are important in protecting people with very weakened immune systems.
“We advise those who have received letters to get tested as soon as possible if they develop symptoms and to contact the dedicated telephone number highlighted on the NHS Inform website.
“People who think they may be eligible but haven’t received a letter can check the website to find out if they have any of the conditions on the list.
“Most people who have received the Scottish Government letters and want treatment are making contact with us through the dedicated phone line.
“Getting vaccinated remains the most effective step people can take to protect themselves and reduce chances of becoming seriously ill with Covid.
“For those who still become infected, these treatments will help alleviate their symptoms, help their recovery and reduce the number of hospitalizations as a result of Covid.”
For more information, visit the NHS Inform website.