A video has been shared online of a man’s battle with coronavirus in a bid to help raise awareness of the seriousness of the illness.
Mr Hardwick, who suffers from asthma but is otherwise fit and healthy, had been urged by his family to make the video to show how severe coronavirus can be.
In the video, Mr Hardwick, from Essex, can be seen struggling for breath and unable to hold his head up straight.
“My spine hurts, my back hurts, my neck hurts. You don’t want to talk, you get shortness of breath if you move around, and you don’t want to lift your head off a pillow,” Mr Hardwick explains in the clip.
Mr Hardwick can be seen struggling to keep his eyes open in the video, which as of Thursday afternoon had been shared over 35,00 times.
“It does come in waves, you will feel slight relief sometimes, then it will go … This really hurts, it’s like nothing I’ve ever had before, I wouldn’t wish it on my enemy,” he said.
Mr Hardwick’s wife Nicola, who uploaded the video on her husband’s behalf said it was “heartbreaking” to see a loved one gasping for air.
She added: “I’m not one for sharing on here, but my husband has Coronavirus and to raise awareness has made a video to show how real this horrible virus is!
“Please people keep your social distance, this horrible virus doesn’t care how old or healthy you are.”
Friends and family said they didn’t recognise Mr Hardwick when the video was uploaded to Facebook, according to his wife.
Mr Hardwick, a father-of-two said that the illness began with a “very dry cough” which gave him a sore throat.
“You start to feel generally crappy and then you’ll find your lungs will tighten,” he explained.
The 51-year-old said he didn’t suffer from a fever initially. He woke up from a sleep on Thursday night with a high temperature and difficulty breathing.
He called 111 and was then assessed by a doctor over the phone who suggested that he might have contracted Covid-19.
Mr Hardwick said he used paracetamol to battle through the illness as his preventative asthma pump did little to help his breathing difficulties.
His family believe he may have contracted the virus while travelling to London where he works as head of repairs for Camden council, although he had been working from home since 18 March.
Ms Hardwick told the Guardian that her husband’s state had since improved and that he is on the road to recovery.
“Please stay away from each other, respect each other. If our parents or grandparents get this, and they’re vulnerable or not fit, I’d hate to think what it will do to them. They will become a statistic. Stay safe,” Mr Hardwick concludes in the clip.