A FORMER marine left practically bedbound for almost a year wants to raise awareness of tuberculosis.
Caleb Salero wants to mark his recovery from the illness by going to the Everest base camp next year for his 30th birthday.
It took me a full year until I was back to my old self.Caleb Salero
The 28-year-old was treated for TB at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, and was left feeling shaky and exhausted for months.
He was not aware of the symptoms and it took several tests for him to be diagnosed.
Caleb, from Waterlooville, said: ‘I first became ill in January last year. I started to get cold sweats and I was coughing badly. My breathing became really erratic.
‘I had never had flu before and that’s what I assumed it was.’
Caleb’s symptoms worsened over the next couple of weeks and he was admitted to QA when antibiotics from his GP failed to help.
He added: ‘I was being tested for TB as doctors said I was displaying the symptoms, but every test was coming back negative.
‘It was a relief to finally have a diagnosis when the results came back positive about a week and a half later.
‘It took a while to feel the benefit of the medication and for my vital signs to begin normalising.
‘When I was discharged, I had to take things incredibly slowly for the next few months.
‘It took me a full year until I was back to my old self.
‘Soon after I was discharged even incredibly simple things, like making a sandwich, would leave me shaking and exhausted.’
Caleb served in the Royal Marines for five years, and was deployed to Iraq from late 2009 until early 2010, where he worked alongside the Ugandan and Iraqi navy.
It is possible that he contracted TB then but it is unlikely he will ever know for certain.
Caleb said: ‘Prior to my diagnosis I was barely aware of TB but it is important for people to be aware of it, as it’s more common than people think. It is out there and it is serious.’
Caleb is now looking forward to the future, and he plans to go to the Everest base camp and visit an orphanage in Cambodia to teach.
He added: ‘It’s so good to have my life back.’