Lanarkshire martial arts instructor puts his speedy recovery from COVID down to new antiviral treatment

A Cumbernauld martial arts instructor has seen his teenage daughter score in a Murrayfield final thanks to a new antiviral treatment for COVID-19.

New treatments are being offered to people with certain medical conditions to combat the symptoms of the virus and reduce more serious illnesses.

Mike Flynn, 65, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States, was a candidate for treatment because he has chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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Mike, who described the treatment as “magic”, has taught Akido at the Iain Nicholson Center in Chryston since settling in Cumbernauld in 2005.

He told Lanarkshire Live: “I woke up on Monday with some flu-like symptoms including muscle fatigue and a sore throat so I took a COVID-19 test.

“My daughter had tested positive a few days earlier. I got my positive test result back on Tuesday morning. I had a letter from the NHS saying I might be eligible for COVID treatment as I have a compromised immune system so I called number this morning.

“By 1:30 p.m., a courier had delivered the medication straight to my home and I immediately took the first dose. The next morning I still had a sore throat but all my other symptoms were gone and I started to feel much better and could feel the benefits of the pills. It was magical.”

Nicole Flynn, from Cumbernauld, is a Scotland international under 18

The father had to take two different types of pills, three in the morning and three in the evening, for five days, which speeded up his recovery. And the following week he was delighted to be there in person to see his daughter, a youth international, play and score at Scottish rugby’s home ground.

Mike revealed: “I did my lateral flow tests on days 6 and 7 and they both came back negative so I was able to manage to see my daughter Nicole at a rugby cup final in Murrayfield and the next day I was back teaching martial arts .

“Nicole plays for the Stirling County U18 team and the national U18 team. They were in the Cup final against the Edinburgh Harlequins and they scored the first try in a 69–12 win. That was nice to see.

“The following week she came off the bench to set up Scotland U18’s win attempt against Italy.

“It was fortunate that I was able to get out of COVID isolation in time to see Nicole score a try in the final. I think it was also due to the treatment that helped me recover so quickly.”

Almost 1300 people in Lanarkshire have been through the assessment process, with over 800 treated since December.

Mike, whose wife Julie is an advanced nurse at Wishaw General, is feeling great and able to go about his normal routines and teach Akido again and would encourage others who may be eligible to seek treatment.

dr Lucy Munro, Medical Director for Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire 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 make COVID symptoms less severe, make complications less likely, and are important to protect those with very compromised immune systems.”

She added: “Vaccination remains the most effective step people can take to protect themselves and reduce the chance of becoming seriously ill with COVID.

“For those who are still contracting the infection, these treatments will help relieve their symptoms, speed up their recovery and reduce hospitalizations as a result of COVID.”

More information on the additional COVID-19 treatment options, including how to access treatment and the dedicated phone number, can be found on the NHS Inform website.

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