Daniel Delauney will be giving the kangaroos at his workplace a wide berth in the future.
The 43-year-old groundskeeper from St Georges Basin contracted Q fever from infected kangaroos, after breathing in airborne particles from their droppings.
After two misdiagnoses earlier this year, Mr Deleuney said his health began deteriorating further over the next week.
“The local doctor originally diagnosed me with a chest infection and then it got worse so I took myself to hospital but they sent me home with crampeze,” he said.
“It got so bad after that I rang an ambulance because I thought I was going to die.
“I couldn’t stop shivering, I had jaundice in my eyes, I was really bloated and they took me to Shoalhaven Hospital and then straight to the Wollongong Emergency Care Unit where I stayed for three weeks.”
Mr Delauney’s liver had begun shutting down and he’d gone from 82 kilograms to 59 kilograms.
“I’m slowly putting weight back on but some of the side effects are I’ve got the same skin as a 90-year-old man, I’ve got no muscle tissue left on my body and I’m really weak and frail.- -Daniel Delauney
“My liver ate every bit of muscle off my body,” he said.
“The specialist said to me ‘I must have some people upstairs watching over me because I shouldn’t be here.”
Antibiotics have cured the infection but Mr Delauney said the long-term effects are significant.
“The doctor says it can take up to two years to recover and sometimes you don’t properly recover at all,” he said.
“I’m slowly putting weight back on but some of the side effects are I’ve got the same skin as a 90-year-old man, I’ve got no muscle tissue left on my body and I’m really weak and frail.
“I’m just a mere shadow of myself.”
Mr Delauney said he wasn’t aware of the dangers of Q fever or how it’s contracted and wants others to avoid going through what he has.
“You can get vaccinated for it but I didn’t know that, no-one mentioned it and I’m sure there’s a lot of other people who don’t realise that too,” he said.
“If you’re a groundsman or working near animals, get vaccinated. It’s really important, especially if you’re mowing over kangaroo droppings because that spread the particles.”
For information on vaccinations for Q fever contact the Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.