Karl Darlow opens up on 'horrific' Covid-19 battle

‘It felt like I was suffocating’: Karl Darlow opens up on how ‘horrific’ Covid-19 left him unable to swallow with the Newcastle goalkeeper losing nearly TWO STONE in weight after admitting himself to hospital

  • Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow has opened up on his battle with Covid-19  
  • He said he was unable to swallow and felt like he had razor blades in his throat 
  • The ‘keeper admitted himself to hospital and spent five days in a Covid ward 
  • Darlow had been due to get his first Covid-19 four days before catching the virus

Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow has opened up on his ‘horrific’ battle with Covid-19, which saw him lose nearly two stone in weight and left him unable to swallow.

Darlow, 30, believes he caught the virus after attending the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, four days before he was due to have his first vaccination.

Speaking to The Times, the shot-stopper recounted how the ‘horrific’ pain led him to drive himself to hospital, where he spent five days on a Covid ward.

Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow has opened up on his ‘horrific’ battle with Covid-19

The virus left the shot-stopper unable to swallow and saw him lose nearly two stone in weight

He said: ‘It felt worse than razor blades. It was like someone had just shut my throat off. Like someone had jammed something down my throat so I couldn’t do anything.

‘I was so sore. It felt like I was suffocating. It was horrible. In and around my chest it was getting tighter. The longer it went on the more I started to think, “I really need some help.” 

‘It felt better because I was in safe hands. I felt more comfortable knowing that I wasn’t in the house trying to do everything by myself, trying to find a way of getting around what is still the unknown. I didn’t know what I had or what was wrong. That was the biggest fear for me: what was coming next.

‘From the couple of days when I felt absolutely fine to going to that, from zero to 100 so quickly, to thinking what could possibly happen next. That was the biggest fear.’ 

Darlow drove himself to hospital where he spent five days on a Covid ward recovering

Darlow was placed on a drip for three days before he was able to swallow again. 

After being released from hospital, the ‘keeper went on to suffer the regular symptoms of Covid-19 kicked in.

‘I had everything: diarrhoea, fevers, headaches, the obvious, the lethargy. I couldn’t be bothered to do anything. Being in the house on my own was tough because I still felt like I needed to eat and drink and I ended up losing weight.’ 

Darlow is now back in training and is aiming to return to action in September. The goalkeeper said he only started to feel normal again last week and is working hard to regain the muscle he lost during his battle with the virus. 


He is hoping his story encourages people to get vaccinated and his manager Steve Bruce also urged young people to get themselves vaccinated after noticing how the virus affected his goalkeeper. 

Bruce said: ‘For any young people out there who are not having this jab, here’s a prime example. 

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has urged young people to get vaccinated after Darlow’s experience

‘Karl found himself in hospital for the best part of a week, he’s dropped over a stone and a half in weight and it’s really knocked him around.

‘There’s a 30-year-old who was hospitalised by this thing – young, fit, healthy and it’s left him in a very, very poorly situation.

‘He’s getting bit by bit a little bit stronger, but it basically wiped him out, so just because you’re under the age of 30, you’re not immune to it.

‘There we have evidence in our squad of how sick even young people can get. We’ll give him as much time as he wants.’

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