A Cumbernauld martial arts instructor was able to watch his teenage daughter score in a final at Murrayfield thanks to a new antiviral treatment for COVID-19.
People with certain medical conditions are being offered new treatments to combat symptoms of the virus and reduce more serious illnesses.
Mike Flynn, 65, from the San Francisco Bay Area in the US, was eligible for treatment as he has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
The Lanarkshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the news from your area – plus features, entertainment, sport and the latest on Lanarkshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – straight to your fingertips, 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories, and lets you customize your page with the sections that interest you most.
Head to the App Store and never miss a thing in Lanarkshire – iOS – Android
Mike, who called the treatment “magical”, has taught akido at the Iain Nicholson Center in Chryston since moving to Cumbernauld in 2005.
He told Lanarkshire Live: “I woke up on Monday with flu-like symptoms including feeling muscle tired and a sore throat so I went for a COVID-19 test.
“My daughter had tested positive a few days before. I received my positive test result on Tuesday morning. I received a letter from the NHS saying I may be eligible for COVID treatment as I have a weakened immune system so I called the number that morning.
“At 1:30 p.m. a courier had delivered the medicine directly to my house and I took the first dose immediately. The next morning I still had a sore throat, but all my other symptoms were gone and I started feeling much better and feeling the benefits of the pills. It was magical.
The father had to take two different types of pills for five days, three in the morning and three in the evening, which speeded up his recovery. And the following week he was delighted to be there in person to see his daughter, a young internationalist, play and score at the home of Scottish Rugby.
Mike revealed: “I had my lateral flow tests on day six and seven and both were negative so I got to watch my daughter Nicole play a rugby cup final at Murrayfield and the next day I started teaching martial arts again.
“Nicole plays for the Stirling County Under-18 team and the National Under-18 team. They were in the cup final against Edinburgh Harlequins and she scored the first try in a 69 win -12 It was nice to see.
“The following week she came off the bench to score Scotland’s Under-18 winning try against Italy.
“It was lucky that I was able to come out of COVID isolation in time to see Nicole score a try in the final. I think it was also thanks to the treatment that helped me recover so quickly.
Almost 1,300 people in Lanarkshire have gone through the assessment process and more than 800 of them have received treatment since December.
Mike, whose wife Julie is an advanced nurse practitioner at Wishaw General, is feeling well and is back doing his normal routines and teaching akido, and would encourage others who are eligible to take the treatment.
Dr Lucy Munro, Medical Director of North Lanarkshire Health and Social Care, said: “I would like to thank all the staff who have worked tirelessly to provide this service during difficult times.
“These new treatments can help ease symptoms of COVID, reduce the risk of complications, and protect people with severely weakened immune systems.”
She added: “Getting vaccinated remains the most effective measure people can take to protect themselves and reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID.
“For those who are still infected, these treatments will help relieve their symptoms, promote recovery and reduce the number of hospitalizations from COVID.”
For more information on additional COVID-19 treatment options, including access to treatment and dedicated phone number, visit the NHS Inform website.
** Don’t miss the latest headlines from Lanarkshire. Sign up for our newsletters here.
And did you know that Lanarkshire Live is on Facebook? Go ahead and give us a like and share!