A COVID survivor who says he felt the “security of heaven” during his battle against coronavirus has candidly opened up about his experience.

Tony Francis, 63, of Harwich, was diagnosed with Covid-19 on January 12 after initially feeling an intense nauseous feeling.

The former police detective was taken to Colchester Hospital four days later when his condition started to deteriorate.

Mr Francis, who has four children and eight grandchildren, said: “My stomach was in a hundred knots and I was giddy and just so fatigued.

“My friend called an ambulance, and the paramedics found my blood oxygen had plummeted, but I went into hospital and experienced the most amazing care.

“My loved ones were frantic with worry and concern and it was literally like looking down from the security of heaven at the heartbroken left behind.”


After spending five days in the hands of “people who put themselves and their loved ones at risk” to keep Mr Francis alive, he was discharged.

Upon returning to Harwich for further recovery, he found his entire home had been cleaned and all of his pants had been meticulously folded for him.

Before long family, friends and the town’s thoughtful residents flocked to his front garden to show their support and offer assistance, much to his surprise.

“The tiredness and nausea hung on for a good while, but the tranquillity and security I felt was almost surreal,” added Mr Francis.

“I had visits from people who wanted to pour out their expressions of love and my family, friends and colleagues all appeared with gifts and affection.

“My girlfriend Julie Jockney showed extraordinary devotion and rendered everything I could need.

“We kissed through the window, and I wondered if this is how it would be for a resident of heaven when a loved one kisses their photo.”

Poignantly looking back on his experience with coronavirus, Mr Francis says the ordeal has given him somewhat of a fresh perspective.

The dedicated community worker said: “The experience was one of peaceful recuperation and the reclusive isolation was time for unique reflection.

“But I knew I would be okay because that is my faith and either way, here or heaven, it’s a winner.”