An army reservist from London has spoken out about his experiences fighting coronavirus personally and as a health care worker after his recovery from the disease and return to frontline work.

NHS worker Arnulfo Amado, who is also “immensely proud” to serve his country as a signaller of the 71st (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment, has worked at Croydon University Hospital since 2013, and became a senior clinical support worker there in 2019.

He spoke with the Sutton and Croydon Guardian about his experiences battling the virus in a personal capacity and now as part of his team on the NHS frontlines at Croydon A and E.

Arnulfo said he was “in bed for a week” after testing positive for Covid-19 and described some of the toughest moments fighting off the disease:

“I was shivering due to high temperature and was very weak. I was scared that I was going to die and so frightened for every single breath.

“I had pains all over my body and felt like I’d been beaten worse than in army training,” he said.

The Croydon NHS staffer lost five kilos during the experience and described his encounter with the virus as “the darkest hour and most terrifying experience of my life”.

Arnulfo said his training in the British Army helped him get through the most difficult moments of isolation—keeping his morale strong and taking on food and water whenever he could.

Incredibly, has since made a full recovery and returned to work at Croydon A and E, battling the virus shoulder to shoulder with his NHS colleagues by treating people struggling against the symptoms Covid-19 he now knows about firsthand.

“My heart is overwhelmed with everyone’s hard work and dedication to delivering the promises we set out to do,” the British Army signaller described.

“The management continues to support us, emotionally and keeping us safe. We continue to deliver the very best service for our patients,” he added.

A British Army spokesperson previously took to Twitter to salute Arnulfo’s efforts directly, praising his “tireless efforts” for the NHS.

Corporal Becky Ibrahim also visited him at Croydon NHS and brought a donation of PPE.

Arnulfo, who thanked the many wellwishers he has received after news of his story emerged, hopes to become a nurse but has been forced like others to put his training on hold until the immediate threat of Covid-19 has subsided.

He expressed solidarity with all his colleagues in the NHS who continue to fight coronavirus under the most challenging circumstances.

“We still have a long way to go but by working together and having a strong focus on each other’s welfare we can support each other through this period,” Arnulfo said.