Suzanne D’Silva, husband Dellone and daughter Bianca all fell ill with coronavirus in a nightmare holiday on board the disease-stricken cruise ship, the Diamond Princess.
Their son, Brenton, managed to avoid infection, but Mr D’Silva has told of how the virus made him sicker than he has ever been in his life.
“It hit me very, very bad,” Mr D’Silva told Radio 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.
“It started with a headache, cold fever, then shortness of breath and then finally went down to me getting pneumonia.
“I’ve never been as sick as I was.”
Mr D’Silva had low oxygen levels and his blood pressure also became high.
It was Bianca D’Silva, 21, who first fell ill aboard the ship last month and was taken off and placed into isolation in Yokahama, Japan.
Shortly afterwards, mother Suzanne D’Silva started feeling the sort of symptoms associated with a cold or flu virus, including shivering, a raised temperature and a sore throat.
She also began feeling weak and severely short of breath, and her husband also began showing signs of the virus.
The three D’Silvas were among 12 Australians who got the coronavirus aboard the doomed Diamond Princess, which has since been dubbed an “infection factory”.
Hundreds of passengers were quarantined for two weeks after Japanese authorities refused to let them disembark after the ship berthed at Yokohama.
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Dellone would become the sickest of the D’Silva family, but Suzanne said she felt particularly bad at night when it was more difficult to breathe.
The family was also scared because they didn’t know exactly how sick they would get with the virus, and said being evacuated off the ship by personnel in hazmat suits who sprayed them was a bizarre and frightening experience.
The D’Silvas were taken off to hospital where they were put on antibiotics.
The Herald Sun reported Mr D’Silva’s symptoms were so bad – including a severe cough and pneumonia – that doctors placed him on HIV drugs.
As Mrs D’Silva began feeling better and found it easier to breathe, her body temperature began to drop as the drugs kicked in.
But before they could leave, each of the D’Silvas had to undergo tests, taken several hours apart, in which nasal and throat swabs were taken and scanned for COVID-19.
The swabs came back negative and the D’Silvas were cleared by the Australian Government to fly back home.
“I’m feeling much better and very happy to be back home,” Mr D’Silva told 3AW.
While Mrs D’Silva says she feels normal again, Mr D’Silva is still feeling “weak”.
Of the more than 600 Diamond Princess passengers who contracted coronavirus, six have died.