A RESIDENT who says she has suffered with 'long Covid' for the past eight months is hoping to shine a light on and raise awareness of the issue.

The condition, known as 'long Covid', has featured in recent national media reports, and has a massively debilitating effect on the lives of some who have had coronavirus.

Sufferers often feel exhausted and without energy with their symptoms lasting for months on end.

Jenny Collins, from Windle, started to feel ill eight months ago and is still unwell.

Due to her illness, Jenny, 67, has been left unable to work. Even performing routine tasks like walking her dog have become a struggle for her.

Jenny started to feel ill back in February, with a cough and went to the doctors and was given antibiotics.

After these had no effect and Jenny, who also has COPD, started suffering from a severe headache and sinus pain, Jenny went to the A&E at Whiston in March and believes she was among the first to have a coronavirus test at the hospital, which came back inconclusive.

She was therefore sent home and prescribed antibiotics and steroids by the doctor but her symptoms showed no sign of abating, with Jenny suffering from a loss of appetite and regularly lost her balance.

"I kept on being ill and with a lot of stomach pain, indigestion, the doctors gave me steroids and antibiotics and it wasn't working," said Jenny.

"I couldn't even concentrate. I do craftwork and I struggled to do that.

"The COPD nurses were giving me steroids and I was on them all summer for three or four months. I had no energy and my mental health was failing and I had a metal taste in my mouth.

"I was shielding and I had blood tests which showed nothing. I said to the doctor in August I need something done this time, I'm fed up with this now.

"I can't go back to work and I can't function. The muscle mass had gone in my arms and legs, I couldn't drive. The fatigue is just horrendous."

Jenny underwent a CT scan which showed she had fibrosis tissues on her lungs, more than likely due to the coughing.

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It was when Jenny came across groups online, made up of people who call themselves Covid 'long haulers', that she saw that the symptoms they suffered matched hers exactly.

"I found these groups saying they were 'long haulers' and I was thinking this is what I've got, exactly the same symptoms," she added.

"I am still not right and I've been ill since February. I have had to have an extra stair rail put in to help me up the stairs. My daughter has come up from London to help me.

"I'm going to see a chest specialist and have a heart monitor put on."

Jenny is hoping she can raise awareness of 'long Covid' and for people to receive proper treatment and diagnosis.

Jenny added: "There are thousands of people with this same dilemma, they are being ignored and not getting the proper tests.

"It seems to affect a lot of people who have had since around that time I did and there are young people as well. I think people should really understand that this is an illness, caused by the virus.

"People are thinking it's just like having a bit of flu but for a lot of people it's not and it affects young people too. I get really angry when people don't socially distance.

"I miss work and I want to get to the bottom of this. I could do with some proper rehab. They are supposed to be putting stations in hospitals for long-haul people to be seen by specific doctors.

"People in the town might have these symptoms and haven't got a clue, at home thinking why don't I feel well?"