A FORMER Borders minister caught coronavirus and feared she would die.

Julie Rennick, 60, was based at Earlston Parish Church until last year.

After catching COVID-19 in April, she became so ill that she considered writing goodbye letters to her children.

She said: “That was terrifying, a real dark-night-of-the-soul moment.”

Rev Rennick spent more than eight years in Earlston, before becoming minister of Larbert West Parish Church in Forth Valley.

Around two months ago, she and her husband Alastair both fell ill, but her condition was far more severe.

Rev Rennick said: “I had a pain when I was breathing and both of us got really high temperatures which made us feel really unwell.

“I could see my colour changing and I looked like death warmed up.

“Overnight, I became very, very unwell with high fever and pain in every one of my joints – it was awful.”

Rev Rennick sought medical advice and decided to self-isolate at home in a separate room from her husband.

“I had proper flu about two years ago and it was maybe 20 per cent of what this was – this was beyond anything I had ever experienced,” she said.

“When your temperature goes up beyond 38C your whole body goes into rigour.

“It is horrible and quite extraordinarily painful.”

Rev Rennick said her breathing became “really bad” after 10 days.

“It was as if there was a wet sponge in my nose that I had to breathe through,” she said.

“Every breath was just a horrible gasping.

“My thought was I had to write a letter to my sons because I did not know if I could ever speak to them again.

“That was terrifying, a real dark-night-of-the-soul moment.”

Rev Rennick said she got moral support from fellow minister Dan Harper.

The 38-year-old, based at Bridge of Allan Parish Church in Stirlingshire, also caught coronavirus and survived.

The pair have expressed their gratitude for the “brilliant” medical professionals who assisted them, and for everyone who offered prayers for their recovery.

While both have made a good recovery, they have not yet returned to full health.

Rev Rennick told of her experience during an interview with Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The interview will appear in the Kirk's new series of in-conversation videos called It’s a Fair Question. The series will be posted on social media.