A man who had the coronavirus for 290 days said he was hospitalized 7 times and kept expecting to die

A screengrab of a video of Dave Smith talking to the BBC about his time with the coronavirus.
Dave Smith. BBC
  • Dave Smith, 72, consistently tested positive for the coronavirus for nearly 10 months.
  • Smith said he was hospitalized seven times, and once coughed “non-stop” for five hours.
  • He said he expected to die, and had told his wife: “Let me go.”
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A British man who tested positive for the coronavirus over the course of 290 days said he was hospitalized for the illness seven times and expected to die.

Dave Smith, 72, from England, told the BBC that he tested positive 43 times and that he once coughed “non-stop” for five hours.

His infection is the longest active COVID-19 case ever recorded so far.

The BBC reported that he lost 10 stone (64kg), while The Guardian reported that he lost 8.5 stone (54kg).

Watch him speak here:

Smith said that after getting so many positive tests, “I was ready to give up.” He said he also told his wife: “Let me go. I’ve been hanging on but its so bad now, I’m just a jelly.”

He told The Guardian that his wife “started to arrange a funeral five times.”

His wife, Lynda, also told the BBC she had expected him to die.

The BBC reported that Smith was vulnerable because he previously had chemotherapy for leukaemia.

He was treated with a cocktail of anti-viral drugs from the drugmaker Regeneron, and scientists are now studying Smith to better understand how the virus mutates, the BBC reported.

A case report published earlier this month also found that a 36-year-old woman with advanced HIV had carried the coronavirus for 216 days, during which the virus accumulated more than 30 mutations.