Friends Nicola Burns, 28, and Caitlyn Gwyther, 21, were treated for coronavirus in Darwin together. Both have since recovered. Picture: Supplied
Friends Nicola Burns, 28, and Caitlyn Gwyther, 21, were treated for coronavirus in Darwin together. Both have since recovered. Picture: Supplied

Recovered patients explain what it’s like to have coronavirus

TWO recovered coronavirus patients have shared their messages of gratitude to the NT healthcare workers who took care of them as they battled the virus in Darwin for about three weeks.

Caitlyn Gwyther, 21, from Larrakeyah, was rushed to Royal Darwin Hospital on March 19 after she fell sick on a flight home from Utah in the United States.

"I started to develop a cough on the flight but I just kind of figured that was from the plane's airconditioning, but I still got tested to be safe when we landed," she said.

"It was very shocking when they told me I was positive.

"I was convinced that they had the wrong test and it wasn't mine."

She was kept in a isolation room at the hospital for a few days while doctors monitored her symptoms.

Her condition remained mild and she was taken to the Lorraine Brennan Centre where she completed the majority of her three weeks in quarantine.

It was there the 21-year-old reconnected with her friend Nicola Burns, 28, who had also contracted a mild case of the virus after travelling overseas.

Ms Burns was travelling home from London to Brisbane after two years away when she tested positive for COVID-19 during a stopover in Darwin on March 26.

"We all had our own rooms at the centre, but Caitlyn and I shared a patio so we could yell out and talk to each other," she said.

"I think she definitely helped me get through those weeks and kept me sane because no one else comes to visit you besides the doctors and nurses.

"After a while, Caitlyn and I volunteered to go to the Howard Springs facility where we could walk around as long as we maintained social distancing and kept our masks on.

"We started doing these daily online workouts together there with some other patients, which was really fun."

Ms Gwyther was the first to fully recover last week and returned two negative tests for COVID-19.

"When you get your two negatives, it's the best feeling in the world," she said.

"The first thing I did was go to Maccas and get a frappé.

"Getting to go into the grocery store that day was also like the best thing of all. You appreciate being able to go out and do stuff."

Ms Burns recovered a few days later, and the pair stayed together in Darwin before she eventually returned to reunite with her family in Brisbane on Monday.

"It feels so good to be home again, but I just want to say a huge thank you to all the medical staff and the people that looked after us in Darwin," she said.

"We were well looked after, and everyone really went above and beyond. A few people there also brought me some care packages as well.

"If I had to be quarantined anywhere in the world I'm glad it was in Darwin."

The NT has 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 12 of them have recovered.

Originally published as Recovered NT patients explain what it's like to have coronavirus