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Children’s author Michael Rosen: I was so near death, it has changed me

Home: Author Michael Rosen PICTURE: FACEBOOK

CHILDREN’S author and poet Michael Rosen said he was just hours from death when he was taken to hospital with Covid-19.

The 74-year-old revealed he is suffering from flashbacks after almost seven weeks in an induced coma, having fallen ill in March.

Initially, the former Children’s Laureate thought he simply had flu. But things started ‘moving very, very quickly’ when his GP neighbour carried out an ‘oxygen saturation test… and suddenly it was, “You’ve got to go to A&E now”.’

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I don’t think I sensed, at that moment, that I was probably two or three hours off departing this planet. My respiratory system was conking out but so were my liver and kidneys and I didn’t know that but found out afterwards.’

Rosen, whose books include We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, Little Rabbit Foo Foo and Chocolate Cake, is now recovering at home with his wife Emma and said being on a ‘knife edge’ on a ventilator had changed him.

He added: ‘I was so near to going… It’s a reminder of how life is very impermanent. I get these, not exactly nightmares, but recurring images… and I can’t get rid of them.’

Vendor: Mike Danks in his PPE PICTURE: PA

■ BIG Issue vendors are being given protective gear and contactless card machines for their return to streets next week. The 2,000 sellers will have face masks, visors, latex gloves and anti-bacterial gel plus bags for the magazines, which have only been on sale in stores. The new price is £3 — half for sellers. London seller Mike Danks said: ‘I am excited to get out and about and meet people again.’