A Dublin man has described his experience of the "carnage" of the ICU in one London hospital at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Barra Fitzgibbon was in intensive care for 12 days, during which he was in a coma for six.
The 49-year-old told The Pat Kenny Show that he was hospitalised in early March after picking up a cough that was not getting better.
He said: "The thing with COVID, for me, was that you get a false sense of security - you wake up one morning feeling ok but then you're a little bit worse that evening."
Barra was known as a "soldier" while in the ICU and praised the nurses and doctors who were involved with his care.
He said: "They made me feel like an equal partner in all the conversations we were having around recovery, and it was all guesswork.
"They congratulated the way my body was recovering as much as they patted themselves on the back for their own work.
"That motivated me to want to get better for them as much as for myself.
"It really helped with all the carnage I was seeing around me in the ICU.
"When I went in, there were 20 patients, when I left there was 60...they used to call me soldier."
Barra was in a coma for three days and a partial coma for another three days where he was semi-conscious.
He said saying goodbye to his family was "one of the toughest conversations" he has had.
A consultant told him he had a 65% chance of making it before going into a coma so it was important to say goodbye to friends and family.
He said: "I got myself into a position into where I could mentally deal with it."
Barra said he tried to be "wise and sage" with his two children and told his wife that he would "come find her" some way if the worst happened.
He said he "couldn't wait" to go into a coma as he hadn't slept in a week.
'Best of Britain'
While in ICU he developed double pneumonia, a chest infection and sepsis and said "the reality was" that he was dying.
During his recovery over several months, Barra had to learn to swallow, speak and walk again.
He said while Brexit showed him the worst of Britain, the staff at the hospital showed him "the best".
"I can't speak highly enough of them because they saved my life.
He said that following the experience, he wanted to raise awareness that COVID-19 doesn't affect just the vulnerable, as he was a young, healthy man.
He also wanted to focus on "the profound impact that daily conversations can have" on peoples' wellbeing, such as the ones he had in the ICU with staff.
Barra has since set up a company extolling the benefits of better conversations and will be speaking at the NHS annual conference next week about his experience.