Sobering warning from once healthy young staff nurse who has long Covid

A once healthy staff nurse from Motherwell who is just 23 years-old has told of the way in which long Covid has robbed her of the life she once knew.

Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell from Motherwell was a fit and healthy member of orthopaedic trauma team at University Hospital Wishaw. She had no underlying health issues but took unwell last November with Covid-19 symptoms.

Heather was unwell for three weeks at home and despite having symptoms, she had two initial negative PCR test results before testing positive.

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She said: “I was fairly unwell at that point and my symptoms took a long time to settle. I was treated with oral antibiotics and a steroid inhaler for a lower respiratory tract infection in December.

“In January I attended A&E with increasing chest pain but all my tests came back normal. I have since been referred for a 24-hour heart monitor, chest x-ray and numerous blood tests which have also come back as normal.

“The other symptoms I have to live with daily include a loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, spiking temperatures and fevers, muscle and joint aches, tachycardia, heart palpitations, chest pain, headaches, eye aches, initial hallucinations, difficulty sleeping, abdominal pains, confusion and brain fog. Physical activity including walking at a slow pace aggravates symptoms and can leave me with joint and muscle pains and in bed for days afterwards.

“Some days I do not want to get out of bed and even taking a shower and washing my hair can cause heart palpitations.”

She tried to attempt a phased return to work in April on reduced duties but that lasted two days and went off sick again.

“Heather added: "I understand the desire to want to meet friends and family in big groups without masks or social distancing after such a long period of time, however I am an example that any young, fit and healthy individual could be affected so heavily by Covid. I would also urge everyone who is eligible to get their vaccinations to protect themselves and others.”

Around 1 in 10 people suffer from prolonged illness after Covid-19. Recovery from Covid can take many weeks – even months – until people start to feel themselves again.