A mum-of-eight who was forced to leave her kids at home after being rushed to hospital with coronavirus has admitted: “I thought I was going to die”.
Marie Buchan – nicknamed ‘Octomum’ – was taken to hospital on Saturday night (9/1) after she tested positive for the deadly bug and her condition worsened.
The former lap-dancer lost her sense of taste and smell and developed a cough but also had been vomiting and suffering nose bleeds for the previous week.
The 39-year-old was self-isolating at home by locking herself in her bedroom while her kids, aged six to 18, fended for themselves downstairs.
Following a worrying spell at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Marie has now returned home after being discharged on Tuesday (12/1).
She still has to self-isolate for another seven days and has also ordered testing kits for her eight children, who are caring for her, after one of them became sick.
Her spokesman Barry Tomes said: “Marie is back home now but still feeling very rough.
“She had lots of concerns and fears about not pulling through. It did go through her mind
“She told me ‘’I thought I was going to die.’ and ‘I know I could die from this’.
“We don’t talk about the mental side of having Covid. You get weird hallucinations and it plays games with your mind.
“When you’re ill with it you get prepared to die – she has said similar things to me.
“When she got ill the death numbers were starting to go up again and she said ‘I hope I’m not one of those numbers’.
“She is still really scared about her health. But her main concern is for the kids. She said she is sending for more testing kits for her children.
“She’s in her room upstairs and they’re downstairs but one of them has started feeling ill.
“She has to self isolate until January 20 because when she left hospital on Tuesday she was still positive.
“She said the hospital is so under pressure with Covid patients. She was quite distressed seeing other people in a worse way with Covid than herself.
“She is still feeling really bad.
“Her sense of taste and smell has come back but she can’t shake the nose bleeds and vomiting. She can’t keep a glass of water down.
“I have never seen her so rough. Like all mums she just cracks on with things, she’s never had anything like this before.”
Marie lives with Tia, 18, Leah, 17, Latoya, 15, Joshua, 14, Alisha, 12, Mikayla, 11, Amelia, eight, and seven-year-old Olivia.
She hit the headlines when she appeared on TV on the Channel 5 show Benefits Britain: Life On The Dole in 2016.
Marie reportedly receives £500 in benefits every week to run her household – about £26,000 a year.
Before she was rushed to hospital, the single mum said she was going through “a complete nightmare”.
Speaking from her home in Weoley Castle, Birmingham, she previously said: “I feel absolutely awful.
“I started getting a sore throat and was breathless last Saturday but I didn’t think it was Covid at first.
“As a precaution I rang my doctor who advised me to get a test which I did on the Monday and it came back positive.
“Since then I’ve been isolating in my bedroom upstairs. Over the last few days I have gradually got worse and worse.
“As well as the sore throat and breathlessness I’ve had awful coughing fits but also had several nose bleeds.
“My children are downstairs and it’s horrible because I can hear the youngest one crying for me but I just can’t risk any of them catching it so I have to stay in my bedroom.
“The older children have really stepped up and I’m so proud of them.
“They’ve been helping with everything with the house and the younger ones.
“They bring me food upstairs and leave it outside my door.”
Marie has previously caused controversy by appearing to use her state handouts to fund her lifestyle.
Last year she saved up for a boob job through car boot sales and part-time work to cover the boob op rather than dip in to her benefits.
Before Christmas, she came under fire again after she planned to jet off to Spain because she “needed a break”.