Maresfield woman updates her Coronavirus story

A couple from Maresfield have learned they are 90% likely to have COVID-19 but have also been told there is no treatment for the condition as they remain unwell.

Gail and Gary Fay spent yesterday (Sunday, March 22) in hospital but have now been sent home to wait and see what happens.

Gail, who joined Facebook so that she could warn people about the virus, updates her news here.

Tired and unwell

Gail writes:

I was going to wait until tomorrow as I’m tired and still feel unwell but I feel like I need to do it now in case symptoms start tonight for you or someone you know.

Today Gary and I have spent a good portion of the day in hospital. I have had blood test, scan and ECG. Mine are ok. I still have chest pain but nothing can be done about them. Gary has had a scan and has a problem with his lungs. There is no treatment.

They are 90% sure that we have Coronavirus but there are no tests. The current position is that tests are for critical care only. When you can no longer breathe and you need to be admitted to a Coronavirus ward you have to be given the test. The staff are not getting them nor anyone presenting symptoms.

Nothing happens now

So what happens now. Nothing. We are sent home and will continue to be unwell. We will nurse ourselves with paracetamol and Gary has antibiotics for a cough.

If at any point we can’t breathe we will call 999 and be assessed whether we are bad enough to be admitted to critical care in the Coronavirus ward where we will have ventilation if available. Think its quite clear there will not be enough beds.

So to be clear, if you get the virus you will have to nurse yourself with paracetamols and Dioralyte and self isolate.

Medical advice

The medical advice is to call 111. Demand means you are unlikely to get through. I gave up after 2 hours on hold.

You may be lucky – I have read some have mild symptoms. Or you may feel like us and we were fit and healthy at 48 and 56.

This post is in no way detrimental to the NHS. All we saw today were fantastic. What lovely people – still smiling.


Only frontline staff have masks. There aren’t enough. I cannot thank them enough for the tests we received today. They were organised, kind and ready for battle. However, they have no weapons as none are available. Please someone get them the support they need to live with their families while battling this virus for us.

This is your only chance of saving your own life. If you risk it, that is on you. They can help you at the end – if there are any beds left.

But be clear, when you risk your life you are risking other people’s too. If you mask a hangover with pills how are you going to know you present symptoms. This is your only clue that you should be self isolating. Symptoms are many and varied.


I feel tired and emotional. I had believed that if we got the virus and it got bad we would get treatment and get better. It doesn’t work that way. If you get it you have to live through it and believe me when I say for us it has been totally debilitating.

The only support you will get is from your family and friends within the constraints of self-isolation. Build your emergency network and get your home ready to be your safe place.

So we wait and hope to heal but we are no better. This is our journey. Good luck with yours.

Stay away from people

Stay away from people – is what you’re doing worth your life? Needless to say, we remain in self-isolation. As always, thank you to those who make this possible. Will return the favour when we’re released. What are you all doing in the supermarkets every day? You are spreading it. You won’t have an appetite when you get it.

I am sorry I haven’t answered individual messages. I may add to this another time but I can’t do anymore now.

As always, share if it helps. I’m not repeating what was in previous posts.

Gail and Gary

• Read Government COVID-19 stay-at-home guidance

Ten days into self-isolation

Original Uckfield News story on Saturday, March 21: A Maresfield woman has given details of her battle with Coronavirus, ten days into self-isolation.

Gail Fay wrote about the experiences on Facebook and asked people to share her story.

Gail says:

“I wasn’t going to post as exhausting – but believe it is important. My friend asked me to as people in the pubs etc behave as if they’ve been signed off for holidays.

“Please share. We live in Maresfield – so you know it is out there. I believe I have an obligation to share even though I just want to sleep. We are healthy 48 and 56.

No testing

“Gary Fay and I have corona virus without a diagnosis as no testing. You will know if you get it.

“Day 10 now of self isolation. We have never been so ill. We sleep a majority of the day.

“I have to say we are usually fit and healthy and are fighting but it is debilitating. Thank you to friends who pick up things. No appetite – just water. Stop focusing on food you won’t eat if you get it.


“You will have to be self-sufficient as 111 cannot do anything nor can doctors unless you are critical. Took 90 mins to get through at 5am and said were unable to help as too many calls.

“You need spare sheets for beds ready for fever.

“Have at least one buddy that you can ask if self isolating. They may need to get medication if suitable. Make your own safe place with outside help when needed. Have WhatsApp groups.


“I have 15 minute momentum that means I put dishwasher on, change bed sheets, and have a shower. Then exhausted. My husband has no energy to help. The stronger needs to cope.

“Please think before you go and see your parents or go for the last meal with them Sunday. You will be passing what you don’t know is there yet. Stay home or better still get them ready with treats and basics. Build them a support network not a random dinner.


  • Chest pains
  • Headache
  • Electric pains in limbs
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Fatigue

“Food – all we ate is pineapple and soup and lucozade.

“This is not just stuff in newspapers – the illness is like being in a movie. For now we are just trying to get through.

“This is not for attention – I am not liking posts. It is because we are already in the nightmare.

• Gail’s story was shared on the Coronavirus news East Sussex Facebook page.

See also:

Coronavirus updates in Uckfield on Friday, March 20

Volunteer centre wins High Sheriff award

Retrospective plans for nine parking spaces in Framfield Road

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

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