'It's like nothing I've experienced before': Wolverhampton MP speaks of suffering coronavirus symptoms

By Peter Madeley | Coronavirus | Published:

A Wolverhampton MP says he felt like he had been "hit by a train" after coming down with coronavirus symptoms.

Stuart Anderson MP speaking in Parliament on March 24

Stuart Anderson, MP for Wolverhampton South West, said he has been self-isolating at his home in the city since last Thursday, having started to feel seriously ill after returning from Westminster.

The former soldier, who has been in training for the London Marathon, said that by Saturday night he was struggling to breathe and felt like he had razorblades in his throat.

He was unable to get through to a GP and has not been tested, and now believes he is on the road to recovery.

Mr Anderson also revealed he had been in contact with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the virus last week.

He told the E&S: "It hit me very quickly and it felt like I had been hit by a train. Thankfully I now appear to be recovering, but I'm far from recovered."

The Conservative MP said his symptoms started after his 11-month-old daughter Willow came down with a fever last Wednesday and became "extremely poorly".

"I started to feel unwell and by Thursday morning I was going downhill very quickly," he said.


"I've been in training for a marathon and yet by the weekend I was struggling to get up and down the stairs. It's like nothing I've experienced before.

"It feels like I've had razorblades in my throat, I've suffered from exhaustion and a cough.


"At its worst it felt like something very heavy was lying on my chest and I was struggling to breathe. I became worried about how long it was going to last.


"I could feel alright for an hour, then it would knock me down and I couldn't get up off the sofa. Thankfully it didn't get any more severe, although I still feel a lot weaker than I would usually.

"My daughter has had a really rough time and it has taken her six days to come out of it.

"We've not had a test so we can't say for sure that it is the coronavirus, but it is not like any illness I have had in the past. When I've had the flu I have never had a constricted chest.

"I'm fit and healthy and you can think it won't get to you, but it put me down very quickly."

He said he was advised through NHS 111 online to contact his GP, but was unable to get through due to high demand. He also said his wife and three other children who he lives with had displayed no symptoms of the virus.

Stuart Anderson MP speaking in Parliament on March 24

The MP said he attended a meeting with the Prime Minister the week before last, and was in close proximity with him at PMQs.

"You've got virus hotspots in London and Wolverhampton, and I've been in them both," he added.

According to Mr Anderson, his office has been dealing with hundreds of emails each day in recent weeks, the vast majority of which involve coronavirus concerns.

"People are concerned and nervous and I fully understand that," he said.

"People are concerned about their jobs, about food running out, and about themselves and those around them becoming ill. These are crisis emails that have to be dealt with immediately.

"We are responding to as many people as we can, and making sure people have food coming in and can look after their families is our priority."

He added: "Anyone who is displaying symptoms should monitor the situation carefully and use NHS 111 online as a first port of call."

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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