Sunderland mum-of-three opens up about the impact of Long Covid

A Sunderland mum has revealed how she has been struggling with the symptoms of ‘long Covid’ for almost a year.

Since April 2020, Rachael Armstrong has been living with ‘long Covid’ which has dramatically changed her day to day life.

Now the mum-of-three is sharing her daily struggle in the hope the hope of raising awareness about long Covid.

Rachael, who lives in Sunderland with husband Rob and their three children Elliott, 14, Lydia, 12, and Callum, 3, developed Covid symptoms almost a year ago and her condition rapidly declined within days and she suffered from breathlessness, regular migraines, debilitating aches and pains as well as a lack of energy.

Rachael Armstrong from Sunderland is a mum living with the long-lasting symptoms of Long Covid.

It is now understood that nearly 1 in 20 people who contract Covid are likely to suffer from Long Covid the persistent symptoms of which can last weeks or months, and often render people house-bound.

Before Covid, Rachael was a fit and active mum but now she struggles to walk to the park with her son.

Having been personally affected by Long Covid, Rachael is sharing her ongoing experience to raise awareness and urge people to be aware of the potential long-lasting effects of the virus.

“Before Covid, I enjoyed things such as hiking and going to the gym. Now I struggle to even walk to the park with my son. I’ve never had any illness that takes over my whole body as much as Covid,” said Rachael.

"Like many other people I didn’t think I’d get Covid. I still can’t believe I’m living day-to-day with the symptoms for what might be the rest of my life.

“The future for me is unclear. There’s still so much we don’t know about Long Covid but I know health professionals are continuing research on its effects to help people like me.

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“It’s the not knowing that makes it really hard to treat, and it’s terrifying to know I can catch this again and it could have a much more devastating impact. I am receiving medical help for my symptoms but I still feel like I have a long way to go before I get ‘back to normal’ and feel like myself again.”

Symptoms of Long Covid include extreme tiredness, shortness of breath chest pain or tightness, problems with memory and concentration, difficulty sleeping, heart palpitations, dizziness, joint pain, depression and anxiety, feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite, a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat and changes to sense of smell or taste.

“I never could have imagined how debilitating Long Covid could be. It’s been extremely hard. Especially as a family. I’m lucky they are so supportive. I couldn’t keep going every day without them,” added Rachael, who was speaking as part of the #BeatCovidNE campaign.

“This virus isn’t mild for everyone. It can be life-changing and it can happen to you or someone you love. I urge everyone to take this virus seriously.

“My plea to the North East is to please continue to stick to the rules. Wash your hands, wear a mask and keep your distance so that we can stand a chance of slowing the spread.”

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