Coronavirus: Shropshire woman’s long road to recovery after contracting COVID-19
A woman from Shropshire has spoken out about her long road to recovery after contracting COVID-19 in September.
Although many people have fought off the deadly virus, tens of thousands of survivors have been left struggling with long term symptoms which still plague them months later.
Nearly two months after contracting the virus, Lisa Thorpe says she still struggles with breathlessness, dizzy spells and fatigue, and that her sense of taste and smell has not fully returned.
Lisa, from Shrewsbury, started to show early symptoms of coronavirus in September 2020 when she developed a cough and a tickle in her throat.
Over the next few days she lost her sense of smell and taste, developed a high temperature and became so unwell that she was rushed to hospital by ambulance.
Now, despite having no underlying health conditions, Lisa is still on the road to recovery, with simple tasks like climbing the stairs leaving her out of breath.
The 48-year-old said:
“I went from unwell to really sick within an hour. It was a scary experience that I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
“I ended up passing out on my door step whilst having my oxygen levels checked. The paramedics arrived and I was given oxygen and taken to hospital.
“Within an hour I was on a drip for fluids and an IV to bring my temperature down. A chest x-ray showed I had pneumonia. Further tests showed the virus had destroyed my white blood cells and I was at a severe risk of infection, so I was put in a room on my own for the first four days I was in hospital.”
As well as a course of antibiotics and steroids, Lisa was also given an experimental drug to help combat the virus but remained on oxygen for the nine days she was in hospital. Lisa also received a daily injection to try and prevent blood clots from developing
“On numerous occasions the doctors attempted decrease the oxygen without success. Eventually towards the end of my time in hospital they were able to half it as I began to make some progress. I was eventually discharged on day 9.
“As well as numerous medications, I had to carry on injecting myself at home to help avoid blood clots developing.
“It was horrible. I wasn’t allowed to see anyone, but the hospital staff were first class. They really took care of me.
“For the first two weeks after leaving hospital I felt dreadful. I was really weak and spent the time resting and sleeping and before I began to feel better.”
Several weeks after contracting the virus, Lisa is still recovering and admits that completing some simple tasks remains a struggle.
“I am able to take short walks now, but I often feel dizzy and light headed. If I walk too far, I get breathless and my sense of taste and smell isn’t quite there yet.
“I used to walk my dogs for miles and miles, but now I have to turn around and let my family finish the walk.
“My family have been brilliant and have got me through this.
“Everyday tasks now feel like a struggle. I need my family to help me carry the laundry upstairs because I get breathless. Even something simple like getting an item from the bottom draw in the kitchen is challenge because of the dizziness.
“This really is an awful illness. It’s not like having a bad cold or the flu – it’s something much worse.
“Please take this seriously and look after yourself and others, follow all of the measures and take precautions.”
Help us stop the spread of coronavirus:
- Stay At Home
- Work from home, if you can
- You can only meet one other person not in your household or bubble, outdoors in a public place, socially-distanced.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
- Wear a face covering in indoor settings (food shops, workplaces) where social distancing may be more difficult, and where you may come close to people who are not part of your household or bubble.
- Anyone who has any symptoms should book a test and not leave home for at least 10 days. Those living in households should self-isolate for 14 days if they or any members of the household receive a positive test.
- You can book a test by calling 119 or click here
For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating), call Shropshire Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0345 678 9028 (lines open on the weekend on Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday 9am-12pm) or visit our website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.