A Nottingham woman is backing our appeal to raise money for more local research into Long Covid – a condition which experts believe is affecting around 10,000 people in Nottinghamshire alone.
One year on from catching COVID-19 and suffering long-lasting symptoms, Lynne Woodhouse, from Daybrook, knows first-hand about the devastating effect the condition can have.
In April last year Lynne, aged 57, started suffering from a sore throat, cough and chills. Her condition rapidly deteriorated and she was rushed to the Queen’s Medical Centre after ambulance crews had to make an emergency entrance into her house.
Lynne, who has a son and two grandchildren, explained: “Social media saved my life, as my daughter-in-law knew there was something wrong, as they hadn’t seen me on Facebook for over 12 hours and that was not like me.”
Her son Matthew, who lives in South Wales, summoned family members in concern. They came to Lynne’s house where they needed to get a ladder to see through her bedroom window.
COVID-19 had left Lynne delirious and unable to leave her bedroom, so her family called for an ambulance. The ambulance crew made an emergency entrance into the house and rushed Lynne to the QMC, where she was placed on a ventilator and into an induced coma.
Shortly after arrival at hospital, Lynne remembers: “A nurse gave me my phone and said ‘Do you need to ring anybody, as we need to put you to sleep?’ So she dialled the numbers, and I managed to speak to my sister and my son, basically saying goodbye to them.
“The doctors said it could go either way and the best chance for me to be treated was to put me into an induced coma. I was encouraged to say what I needed to – to tell my family I love them. Then that was it for about five weeks.”
Lynne, who says she only feels about 65% recovered from the illness, is backing Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Long Covid Research Appeal, which aims to raise £50,000 to support research into the treatment of Long Covid.
Like many Long Covid patients, Lynne still suffers from symptoms including breathlessness, muscle weakness, joint pain, anxiety, insomnia, loss of taste and smell, and brain fog. Studies in Nottingham are hoping to find the best ways of treating some of these symptoms.
Lynne said: “Research is very important – it is the understanding of the unknown. Everybody is different; everybody has a different set of symptoms, so we need to know how it affects people, and the categories of people that are affected.
“I’m backing Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Long Covid Research Appeal because only good can come out of it. Hopefully, doctors and others involved in this research will be better informed because of the findings.
“We learn from research. Back in March last year, we knew little about COVID-19, and one of the doctors told me: ‘We are learning from people like you’.”