A nurse who is struggling to walk or play with her children EIGHT MONTHS after ‘recovering’ from coronavirus has issued a warning about the new lockdown.
Mum-of-two Jess Marchbank, 33, said she is living in a “limbo of death” as one of Britain’s first ‘long-Covid’ victims.
She was fit and healthy when she was diagnosed with Covid-19 after suffering a “sore throat” at the start of the pandemic.
But after being released from hospital after just three days in late March, she has barely been able to work, walk, or play with her children since.
And she said she is speaking on behalf of thousands of other ‘long-Covid’ patients who survived but are ‘not the same person’ since fighting the virus.
She said her ordeal should be a warning to others of the long-term health problems and a reason why everyone should take the fresh lockdown seriously.
She said: “The thing we’re not thinking about is the huge impact it’s having on so many people.
“There are hundreds of thousands of long-Covid sufferers out there. Heart, lung, kidney, liver, central nervous system. The list goes on.
“If we want this to go, we need to come together and beat this.
“My heart and lungs are still very unpredictable, and I still get breathless and chest pain from walking up the stairs.
“Mentally it’s a challenge to remain positive. I’m a very positive person, but I’ve finally realised that I have lost my past self and no one knows if I’ll ever get back to my “me”.
“My kids have suffered a lot. My just three year old has nightmares where she shouts out for me and thinks I’ve been taken to hospital.
“My five year old worries I will use up my energy and won’t be able to hug him. He said “you don’t love me anymore cos you don’t pick me up from school ever”.
Jess, of Westward Ho!, Devon, was admitted to Barnstaple hospital in Devon on March 23 and was released on March 26.
When she first became ill, Jess said the symptoms “came on in an instant” and she was rushed to hospital by paramedics.
But she said the chronic fatigue had left her feeling like she was not living anymore.
She added: “If I do something simple like opening the blinds in the morning I have to sit down after doing that.
“I am still very up and down.
“I’ve been able to get out of the house a few times only for simple walks.
“I managed to take the kids to the park, which led to a two day sleep, but was so worth it.
“I can’t do anything without getting breathless.”
Jess said that before she fell ill with the virus she was the picture of good health – regularly attending the gym and doing weight training.
She added: “I was in the gym three times a week and could lift 90kg dead weights, but now I can’t even lift my two year old.
“It’s like being in limbo of life and death, because I can’t live.”
Jess said that currently doctors have no idea how to cure her ongoing condition, but she refuses to give up hope.
She said that she dreams of being able to play with her children, Noah, five, and Lanie, three, and of being able to spend time with her husband, Fraser, 38.
Speaking about the latest lockdown, Jess urged people to be more thoughtful for the consequences of their behaviour.
She added: “So far we’ve failed each other by not having the empathy to keep each other safe.
“The government has failed us by ignoring the scientists. This lockdown feels like a half hearted attempt by our government.
“Can we really make a big enough difference in four weeks with schools and colleges etc still open and non essential shops like Poundland remaining open?
“I’m worried about our nation’s mental health. Winter is hard enough for many, throw in a possibly pointless lockdown that will inevitably go on for longer than four weeks, and I can see a mental health crisis.
“We need to remember who we are. We need to be compassionate and caring and stop being selfish.”
In a post alongside pictures of her in hospital on Facebook, she added: “If you think this isolated ‘lockdown’ is bad and you’re ignoring the guidelines because ‘they’re stupid’, then let me tell you this – being fully isolated from the people you love and not knowing when (or if) you’ll hug them again is heck of a lot worse.
“Stop messing about. Start taking this seriously.
“If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your granny and granddad, your immunocompromised friend, that little kid with cystic fibrosis, your mum with high blood pressure, your dad with diabetes.
“Do it for our NHS, stop the spread.”