OCHE legend Jamie Harvey has revealed he is terrified that catching Coronavirus would kill him and is fearful of the consequences for others in a similar position.
The former world No.4 was diagnosed with throat cancer 11 years ago, had a 10-hour op to save his life, then underwent chemo and radiotherapy. He also had his voicebox removed and had a permanent laryngectomy stoma fitted to enable him to speak. In all, he lost four stone during the extensive treatment.
Yet battling Bravedart has lived up to his nickname by continuing to play in local leagues and attending big events over the past five years. But Harvey, 64, admits he is frightened of catching COVID-19 and the lack of relevant information.
“I wish I could put my mind at rest but I can’t. Having had a laryngectomy my voice box was removed and a plastic valve inserted instead.
“I can’t breath from my nose or mouth, I breath from a hole in my neck”.
The Coronavirus is here looks like for a long time. I am 64-years-old, my concerns for me and other people who’ve had a laryngectomy are what do we do, we can’t breath through our mouths or noses only through the orifice in our necks.”
“The daunting thing is I have been in and out of hospitals for a few months now. Also the local doctor’s surgery. Not once has any doctor or nurse explained to me what we do to protect themselves against this disease which is spreading faster than butter”.
“They say do not touch face or mouth. That’s no use to us as I myself have to clean my stoma about on average between 20 to 40 times a day, not one specialist doctor or local surgery doctor can tell me what hygiene we are to do during this worrying time.
“There’s also no mention about anything at any time what kind of masks we wear for our throats. “l’ve got to put my finger on the button on my neck to talk to anybody. I think especially the doctors don’t know enough about the effect on people who have had a laryngectomy or this disease.
“Please doctors and nurses get your fingers out and help us because my finger is in my hole for the rest of my life.
“Hopefully I won’t catch this virus because it will kill me. Thoughts please I’m lost? They must help people with who have had a laryngectomy, it’s frightening.”