Sheffield GP warns of devastating impact of long-term illness from Covid, 11 months after catching the virus

Dr Lisa Philip has been battling with the disease for 11 months Credit: Sheffield NHS CCG/PA

A Sheffield GP says she still " struggles to move or even sit up" 11 months after catching Covid-19.

Dr Lisa Philip is encouraging everyone to be vaccinated against covid, after suffering with life-changing symptoms, despite previously having no underlying health problems .

“After getting covid, I thought I would be OK after a couple of weeks.  I was fit and healthy and rarely ill, I’d never needed to take a sick day off work before, but my symptoms got worse and my health deteriorated", she said.

"But I lost my ability to function normally, I was bed bound for months and only now am I managing some of my usual daily activities. It’s been the worst and most frightening experience of my life."

I struggle to move, even sitting up or standing makes my heart rate increase intensely.  I suffer with extreme fatigue and brain fog. I find it difficult to breathe and at times it felt like my lungs were filled with acid, I can’t function like I did before and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be the same again.

Dr Lisa Philip

“As it was early on in the pandemic when I began to experience these symptoms, no one knew what it was or how covid could possibly effect you long term, I felt so alone. Watching the news and seeing how many people’s lives were being taken by covid, I thought I was next, I thought I was going to die.”GPs are now in a position to recognise patients who are suffering with long covid and clinics have been set up in response to the growing number of people who are living with the long-term impact of contracting the virus.Dr Philip added that she knows of young people who ran marathons who can now barely stand up, months after initially getting covid.

Symptoms of Long Covid can go on for months Credit: ITV News

She warns that because the virus impacts everyone differently, people shouldn't get complacent.

"It is not worth the risk", she said. "I wouldn’t wish for anyone to go through what I and many others have gone through and are still living with to this day.

 “I’ve now had the covid vaccine and would advise everyone to do the same, I had some side effects and felt run down for a couple of days but this is nothing compared to the devastating impact covid could have on your life.  Being vaccinated greatly reduces the severity of your symptoms if you do contract covid and it’s the best defence in our fight against this awful virus.”

Common long covid symptoms include:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)

  • shortness of breath

  • chest pain or tightness

  • problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")

  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

  • heart palpitations

  • dizziness

  • pins and needles

  • joint pain

  • depression and anxiety

  • tinnitus, earaches

  • feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite

  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste

  • rashes

A dedicated NHS website for people living with long covid has also been set up, visit https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/.