A COVID-stricken mum issued a harrowing appeal from intensive care after two patients in the beds either side of her died.
Allie Sherlock said the virus had "floored her" on Christmas Day as she spoke on camera from her hospital bed.
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Allie's entire family – including her sons aged six and eight, her 70-year-old mum and husband with asthma, have all tested positive for Covid-19.
And doctors told the mum-of-two, who has been at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for two weeks, she would have died from the bug if she hadn't been put on a ventilator.
While being filmed by Dr David Windsor, the lead for Critical Care at the hospital, Allie said: "It's been horrendous. My whole family have tested positive.
"I've been very, very unwell. This is very real, this is happening."
It comes as shocking graphs revealed Covid hospital cases are three times higher than normal winter flu.
I have seen two people die in beds either side of me while I've been in this hospital, and not elderly people either. People with families, children.
Allie, who was previously healthy, has been hooked up to feeding and breathing tubes and also has to wear a "suction mask" to help her lungs, Gloucestershire Live reports.
She added: "This has completely floored me. I was told just two days ago that if they didn't put me on a ventilator, I would die."
When quizzed on what she would say to Covid deniers, Allie said: "Don't be fooled, this is happening and this is serious.
"The NHS will not be able to cope if people do not take this seriously.
"Please, please follow the rules. This is not propaganda by the Government, this is happening to everyday people.
"I have seen two people die in beds either side of me while I've been in this hospital, and not elderly people either. People with families, children."
Hospitals across Britain are buckling under the strain and there are currently around 17 Covid patients fighting for their lives in ICU per million Brits.
Dr Windsor, who shot the footage of Allie from inside her ITU ward, admitted staff were finding it "really difficult".
He said: "Right from the front door it is busier than it has been for long time, the same for the wards and the same for us in critical care. It is really hard, it is really tough not least because this has been going on for nearly a year. This current surge is 14-15 weeks.
"Everyone is pretty tired and it is getting really difficult to pick people up and come in and do the same again. We can see community numbers rising and that is a real concern for us. "
It comes as NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens warned hospitals are now treating 50 per cent more Covid patients than at the peak of the first wave in April.
Speaking at last night's Covid briefing, he said the number of coronavirus inpatients are "accelerating very, very rapidly" and added the pressures on the NHS are "real and growing".
Sir Simon said: “We’ve seen an increase of 10,000 hospitalised coronavirus patients just since Christmas Day."
This figure is the equivalent of 20 acute hospitals, he said.
“That is of course all happening at what is traditionally the busiest time of year for hospitals and the wider NHS.
“The pressures are real and they are growing, and that is why … it is vital that we do all take the steps necessary to control the growth of infection.”
Yesterday, 1,162 more Covid deaths were confirmed in Britain along with 52,618 new infections.
It was the second day in a row the daily death count has topped 1,000.
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