Long Covid sufferer calls for more support for victims of 'silent pandemic'
- Credit: Courtesy of Louise Walters
A chronically-ill woman who has been suffering from long Covid for over a year is calling for more support for people with this illness, which she says is becoming "the silent pandemic".
Louise Walters, who lives in Stevenage, suffers with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome - a connective tissue disorder which causes fatigue, pain and regular dislocations - and in March last year she developed long Covid.
Long Covid is when COVID-19 causes symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone.
Louise, 43, explained: "My first symptoms were heart palpitations, followed by crushing fatigue and dizziness. That progressed to increased heart rate while prone, low blood pressure and fainting.
"My hair started to fall out in clumps, I lost my appetite and experienced severe brain fog. I had shortness of breath and body aches.
"Cognitive issues arose where I couldn’t remember words, names of people I loved or my own address.
"I became so weak my husband had to wash and dress me. The lowest point was when he had to feed me, as I no longer had the coordination nor strength to hold a fork.
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"I experienced constant anxiety attacks and disassociation, when I couldn’t work out if I was awake or asleep."
Louise is an administrator for a support group called COVID-19 UK & Ireland Sufferer & Survivor Support, which can be found on Facebook.
She said: "We hold regular zoom meetings for sufferers. It's a safe place for people to discuss their lives, thoughts and ask for advice. It’s been really beneficial for many who feel alone or scared."