TV host Wendy Turner Webster said she was given 48 hours to live after falling ill with the coronavirus. However, she believes that her ordeal cured her of severe depression.
Image: Philip Coburn)
TV host Wendy Turner Webster has revealed that he was given 48 hours to live after falling ill with covid. But she believes her traumatic ordeal cured her of lifelong severe depression.
As Wendy, 54, lay gravely ill in her hospital bed, she says she experienced an epiphany that made her re-evaluate her entire life.
Speaking for the first time about the episode, he says: “Covid almost killed me and then saved my life.
“I remember lying in my hospital bed and opening my eyes and there was white light everywhere. I sat down and my whole life changed.
“Before, I often couldn’t see the meaning of life, but suddenly everything made sense. It was as if a light switch had been turned on.
“I drew a mental image of a line in the sand, so with my depression, what happened, happened, and in the future, my life had just started all over again.”
The former Pet Rescue host, who is married to actor Gary Webster, has suffered from depression since childhood, exacerbated by the death of her middle sister, Ruth, when Wendy was 11, and an abusive previous marriage.
Philip Coburn/Daily Mirror)
She was prescribed the maximum dose of antidepressants, but after Gary had a heart attack and they ended up broke, homeless and in debt, after a business she had worked for didn’t pay her, Wendy’s depression worsened.
She recalls: “Sometimes my depression was so strong that it wouldn’t come out, because I thought that if I went near a train line I wouldn’t come back.
“Now those thoughts are a million miles away. Thanks to Covid, I have finally given meaning to life. I worry less, nothing feels so bad.”
Wendy, sister of television presenter Anthea Turner, fell ill with Covid in January 2021.
That month, Gary’s mother died of the virus while he was seriously ill. His eldest son, Jack, 22, was infected and Wendy fell ill.
Wendy, who received both doses of the vaccine and a booster, recalls: “After three days it hit me like lightning, 24 hours later my breathing got really bad. I’ve had pneumonia six times and recognized the crackle.
“The doctor ordered antibiotics but after two days the pain got worse.
“The doctor sent an oxygen monitor. They told me that if my oxygen level reached 92, we should call an ambulance. The first time I tried it it was 92 and it dropped to the low 80s. I realized if I didn’t go to the hospital he would die.”
They put him on oxygen and diagnosed him with Covid and bacterial pneumonia.
Wendy says, “The doctors told me that if I didn’t start to get better overnight, they would put me on a ventilator. They said if I hadn’t gone to the hospital when I did, I would have died within 48 hours.”
It was three days into her stay that she experienced her epiphany. Atheist, she doesn’t think she’s had a religious experience.
She says, “The counselor I had been talking to about my depression said that most people who go through trauma have post-traumatic stress disorder. But I had post-traumatic growth. You can dive in or some people, like me, see it as the first day of the rest of their life.”
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Wendy, who lives in west London with former Minder star Gary and their sons Jack and Freddie, spent 10 days in hospital and was bedridden for six weeks after returning home.
“It was four months before I left the house,” she says. She has stayed with Long Covid. Other symptom has been severe reactive arthritis. And Wendy has also been hit by more tragedies recently, with the death of her mother, Jean, at the age of 91.
But Wendy and Gary have recovered financially. She toured with Britt Ekland in a stage production of The Cat and the Canary.
Wendy is filming a new documentary series for Together TV and My5, called Wendy Turner’s Viva The Farm Animals, filming undercover with vegan animal rights charity Viva!
She says, “I feel like anything is achievable. Almost losing my life has given me the rest of my life back.”
- Learn more about Wendy’s life at wendyturnerwebster.com
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