With the vaccine rollout in England now opened to those aged 25 and over, young frontline health workers have joined forces to make the facts clearer for young people and urge them to both get the vaccine when their turn comes and get tested regularly, even if they have no symptoms.
Long Covid sufferer Sally McCreith, Head of Medical Education at Liverpool University Hospitals, has shared her own personal experience of the disease and the devastating impact it continues to have on her life.
The 31-year-old from Liverpool contracted COVID-19 in September 2020. Despite suffering from no underlying health conditions prior to contracting the virus, she is still experiencing debilitating symptoms eight months on and wants to warn people about the impact the virus can have on lives.
She said: “Covid was one of the worst experiences of my life, but what came next was even worse. The virus started with a really horrendous headache, then the tiredness and exhaustion kicked in and I literally couldn’t get out of bed. My husband and I both had a really chesty cough – the noise was terrible, it sounded like our lungs were crackling and I had a constant burning sensation in my chest. We also both completely lost our sense of smell.
“As we started to recover, my husband’s sense of smell came back, but when mine started to return, it wasn’t right. I had developed parosmia, which meant all smells were horribly distorted. I can constantly smell a combination of rotten meat with an underlying chemical smell to it.
“As a result my taste is affected. I used to be a real foodie, but now eating is so difficult, as everything has this vile smell to it. I’ve lost two stone in weight since September, as I have to be very restrictive in what I can eat to avoid being nauseous.
“I’ve also suffered brain fog, which is horrendous. I constantly lose my train of thought and my short term memory is completely gone. I'll forget the word that I was going to say or worry I’ve left something on or unlocked. Most recently I’ve become really breathless. I can’t even carry the washing up the stairs.
“I never thought this could happen to me, but my whole life has been turned upside down. I want to remind people to be careful and protect themselves. All my friends are racing to get the vaccine after seeing the impact COVID-19 has had on me. It's the right thing to do, it's the only way we're going to get back to some resemblance of normality and it will stop anyone having to go through what I am continuing to have to deal with daily”.
The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to anyone aged 25or over, or if their 25th birthday falls before 1st July. If you’re eligible, book your vaccination now at: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccinaton or by calling 119. People are also encouraged to take part in regular COVID-19 testing – find out more at: www.nhs.uk/get-tested.
Sally’s story has been shared as part of the ‘Spread the Facts’ campaign, which features young people working across the healthcare community in Cheshire and Merseyside sharing their experiences of working throughout the pandemic. Visit www.spreadthefacts.co.uk to learn more.
Content provided by NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). For more information, please visit www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk.
Published on Thu, 03 Jun 2021 14:20:22 GMT
Modified on Tue, 08 Jun 2021 13:50:21 GMT