A 28-year-old woman who contracted coronavirus three months ago is urging long Covid sufferers not to ignore ongoing symptoms, after doctors found blood clots on both of her lungs.
Sharing her battle with the virus on Instagram, Rachel Gunn, 28, who lives in Ireland, explained that she was in bed for nearly two weeks in October 2020 after first contracting Covid-19.
After initially appearing to recover from the illness, the previously healthy 28-year-old returned to work but has been plagued by health problems in the three months since – and has now been told she could be on blood thinning medication for more than a year.
The side-effects of the virus manifested in breathing difficulties, loss of taste and headaches. However by December, Rachel says she began to experience extreme fatigue, heart palpitations and even found walking up the stairs left her breathless.
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Rachel Gunn, 28, (pictured) from Ireland, has gone viral on Instagram, after penning a post urging people not to ignore symptoms of long Covid. She detailed how after initially recovering from the infection in October, she was hit by lung pain and breathlessness weeks later
The 28-year-old shared her story as a warning to others not to ignore longer term symptoms following a Covid infection
Rachel urged others to seek professional advice if they’re experiencing symptoms of long Covid.
Posting a selfie, Rachel captioned the post: ‘*PLEASE SHARE* DO NOT IGNORE POST COVID SYMPTOMS. Here’s me in hospital January 5th 2021 with MULTIPLE pulmonary embolisms (blood clots) in both of my lungs.’
WHAT IS LONG COVID?
According to the NHS, most people fully recover from a Covid-19 infection after 12 weeks but some can develop long-term symptoms including:
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
- a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
She went on to explain: ‘I contracted Covid-19 back in October 2020. I was fairly sick with it, in bed for nearly two weeks, breathless, tired, achy, headaches etc.’
Detailing how she decided to return to work once the worst of the infection appeared to be over, she told followers she soon realised she was nowhere near returning to full health.
‘For three months I had fatigue, anxiety and stress was through the roof and I experienced lung pain when I exercised but considered these normal post-Covid symptoms as I was able to go about my day semi-normally and do minimal exercise and from what I read, I just had to get on with it and the symptoms would ease eventually.’
By December, her health had deteriorated and Rachel says she was so breathless ‘she couldn’t even get up the stairs without feeling like I ran 5K, even getting up and going to the bathroom was exhausting.’
In addition, she suffered with migraines, heart palpitations, back pain and extreme fatigue and found herself sleeping for 15-16 hours a day.
Rachel explains: ‘I wasn’t getting any better and my mum told me to go to A&E, I didn’t want to as I felt it was too much of a fuss, surely this is how everyone post Covid feels from time to time, I was just going through a tired patch.
‘Once in the A&E a CT scan showed both my lungs were COVERED in pulmonary embolisms (blood clots) and my heart had been strained, I was admitted for three days and started on blood thinners.
‘I now have to stay on blood thinners for at least a year, maybe more. I am now susceptible to blood clots and this will affect my life forever. I am 28-years-old, active, non-smoker, otherwise healthy.’
She urged followers to share her story in the hope that others wouldn’t ignore symptoms.
Rachel (pictured) revealed she will be treating her condition with blood thinners for at least a year, despite being relatively healthy previously
According to the NHS, most people recover from covid-19 after 12 weeks and the chances of having long-term symptoms are not related to how ill you are when you first get coronavirus.
Symptoms can include shortness of birth, fatigue, insomnia, a high temperature and heart palpitations.
Many people have commented on Rachel’s post praising her for sharing her experience.
‘You’re brilliant for sharing this. Covid is absolutely awful (i had it myself and was sick for months) and too many people are far too casual about it. This is the wake up call a lot of people need. Hope you make a full recovery. Take care,’ one person wrote.
Another said: ‘So important to share this warning Rachel – I’m sure the road to recovery is going to be tough but really wishing it to be as quick as possible for you and so relieved that it was caught in time’.
Rachel (pictured) said she began to have heart palpitations and extreme fatigue, leaving her breathless after walking up a flight of stairs. Eventually, the previously healthy 28-year-old was forced to seek hospital treatment