NICHS | Sharon's Story
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Sharon's Story

23 Jun
Chs 8847

Sharon, 51 from Groomsport, had been feeling unwell for a few days when she tested positive for COVID-19 back on 6 September 2020. Initially bedridden by the illness, she is still struggling with its affects 8 months later, so much that it has prevented her from getting back to life as normal.

A school Vice-Principal, a decorated ParkRunner and a mother, Sharon was usually busy, healthy and happy. She never expected to be struck down by Long COVID.

“There are waves of seeing some hope at the end of the tunnel and then, there are weeks like this one that are not great at all, to be honest.”

Sharon’s symptoms include severe fatigue, breathlessness, an ongoing cough and vertigo.

Earlier this year, Sharon took part in our 6-week COVID Recovery Programme. The service was just starting out at the time but has proven to have had strong results for people with long COVID symptoms. Sharon says she feels very fortunate to have accessed this support, when she felt like there was nowhere else to turn.

She says, “The programme was marvellous. It puts you in touch with other people in a similar position. When you’re connecting with other people and hearing their stories, it puts everything into perspective and helps you realise that you’re not alone.”

“In between sessions, the NICHS girls would follow up with a phone call, just to see how I was doing, to see how my action plan and weekly target were coming along. It was so supportive, especially emotionally, and so lovely to hear the phone ring.”

Sharon’s journey back to strength is an ongoing battle but step by step, she has regained some fitness and even took part in NICHS’s fundraising Red Dress Run back in February:

“I spent 22 days in bed! So, initially it was a very slow 5-minute walk for a week, then gradually I got to 10 minutes and so forth. I am normally a regular ParkRunner - every Saturday morning - so when I saw the Red Dress Run advertised, I just thought, “Look, it’s time to give a little back”.”

“The programme connects the physical to the emotional, it offers a much more holistic approach and encourages you to care for your mental health too.”


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