AYRSHIRE’S top firefighter was left unable to walk five yards without being out of breath after he contracted coronavirus. 

Local Senior Officer, Ian McKeekin, 48, spent two days in a Covid ward at Ayr Hospital as he battled COVID-19 and is still suffering the effects two months later.

Now he has urged residents across Ayrshire to continue to follow government guidance and social distance as much as possible.

He said: “This is something I would never want to go through again – it could have been a lot worse were it not for the outstanding work of my local GP.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Ayr Hospital where Jack Alexander MBE was treated.

“I still have no idea how I contracted the virus which is why I’d urge people to avoid becoming complacent as lockdown eases. It can be easy to forget basic things such as standing too close to someone - the big thing to remember is prevention.”

LSO McMeekin has heaped praise on the fantastic work of NHS staff on the frontline who treated him.

He said: “I witnessed first-hand how amazing the NHS staff are, but if we can prevent contracting the virus in the first place, then we can ultimately help them for the benefit of everyone.”

LSO McMeekin who is responsible for protecting communities across Ayrshire, has told of the debilitating effects he suffered because of COVID-19.

He said: “I couldn’t even walk five yards without being out of breath, but I was very lucky – there are many people, including close friends and colleagues, who have lost loved ones or suffered a lot more than myself.

“I had a hangover from the virus. I still had a cough, I experienced cold symptoms and constantly felt drained.

“That’s why we need to be consistent in our thinking, whether that be in shops, at work or anywhere else.”

Since beating the virus, LSO McMeekin has donated plasma from his blood in a bid to save others who have become seriously ill because of COVID-19.

During this process, blood is removed from the body and plasma antibodies are extracted before the blood is filtered back into the body.

He underlined: “We need to change the way we work, follow guidance and really start to think about the steps we need to take to make our workplaces Covid-compliant and what a new normality will mean to us all.”