The daughter of a 41-year-old man who is fighting for his life after contracting COVID fears her father knows he is “trapped in his own body” – and doctors have warned the family to prepare for the worst.
Father-of-eight James Grayson is in a coma and on life support after falling critically ill with coronavirus in October.
His daughter Ebonnie told Sky News she is worried her father is “terrified” and her family are “absolutely heartbroken” after scans showed his lungs are continuing to deteriorate.
Ms Grayson, 21, said the complications her father has faced since catching the virus – including suffering a stroke and a collapsed lung – have “taken their toll on his body”.
“Even with the best efforts of the doctors, it’s still not getting any better,” she told Sky News.
“We’re all just absolutely heartbroken. My dad is the head of our family. He’s such a strong man. He’s the best dad. He’s so supportive. He takes care of all of us.
“This is just the worst thing that could happen.
“He’s literally only alive now because of the machines he’s on. If he wasn’t on them, he’d be dead.”
Mr Grayson, from Frimley in Surrey, thought he was suffering from flu when he suddenly collapsed at home on 19 October, his daughter said.
The grandfather-of-five, who works as a carpenter and window fitter, was taken to hospital by ambulance where it was confirmed he had contracted COVID.
A day later, after his condition deteriorated rapidly, he was placed in an induced coma and put on life support.
Mr Grayson, whose youngest child is just nine, had no underlying health conditions and had received one dose of the COVID vaccine before he fell ill with the virus, his daughter said.
While in hospital, he suffered a stroke and he has faced other complications including a collapsed lung, sepsis, blood clots and pneumonia, she added.
Mr Grayson’s family are currently allowed to visit him in intensive care at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London but they have to wear full PPE, his daughter said.
“(The doctors) have said to prepare ourselves now because he’s not getting any better,” Ms Grayson told Sky News.
“His lungs are still deteriorating.
“It’s traumatic. All we can do is hold his hand and talk to him.
“His heart rate goes up when we’re there with him. I think he can sense that we’re there.
“If he is having any awareness, he must be absolutely terrified – trapped in his own body.”
Ms Grayson, who has two young children, said her family are now preparing for a difficult Christmas.
“My dad loves Christmas,” she said. “Every Christmas my dad would do all the cooking. He would make everything so special. He’d go all overboard.
“My baby brothers are only nine and 10 – they’re so little. Without their dad, they’re really, really down about it. They’re so sad.
“Christmas isn’t going to the same for any of us this year.
“In a way we’re grieving for someone who’s still alive.”
The family have set up a Go Fund Me page and pledged to give a quarter of the money donated to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital.