'It's a relentless rollercoaster': mum gives up 14 year career to recover from Long Covid

A mother from Knaresborough has been forced to give up her 14-year career to focus on her recovery from what she calls the "relentless rollercoaster" of Long Covid.

Katy Egerton still suffers from symptoms two years after getting the virus just before the first lockdown in 2020.

Her fatigue is so extreme she regularly uses a walking stick and even has to drive a mobility scooter when she needs to walk long distances.

She said: "It feels like you're walking through treacle. Like every part of your body, every cell is like lead. It's very different from feeling tired.

"To meet a friend I have to plan to rest and sleep the day before and the day after to have that two hours with a friend. That is worlds apart from the life I loved and the life I lived."

Katy has been hospitalised five times since catching Covid

Before she got coronavirus, Katy described herself as "full of life, a million miles an hour", juggling her successful career in the media with life as a mother.

Now, as well as fatigue, she suffers from brain fog and hair loss. She has been hospitalised five times since catching Covid.

It is hard to understand for her four-year-old daughter Eva.

Katy and her 4-year-old daughter Eva Credit: Family photo

Katy said: "Half of her life I've been poorly. And it hasn't affected her, gosh she's a happy smiley energetic, she has all the energy I had, incredible little girl.

"But she said to me just the other day: 'Mummy, when will Long Covid go away?' And my heart just breaks."

ITV News can reveal more than 8,000 people across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have been referred to special NHS Long Covid Clinics since the start of the pandemic.

Radio presenter Ellie Brennan is one of those suffering in our region.

She caught Covid more than a year ago and her life is still not back to normal.

She said: ""I had such bad fatigue, I had really bad headaches, I had really bad sweats and any sort of energy that I used would then bring me out in flu-like symptoms.

"I couldn't drive for about eight months because the concentration that required would give me a massive headache, make me so tired."

Ellie has been documenting her recovery from Long Covid on Instagram. She had to present her radio show from home for a whole year because she did not have the energy to get into the studio.

Ellie had to present her radio show from home for a whole year after getting Covid

She said: "It's altered my life in every way because I have to plan every single thing I do. I can't just go out and see my friends for a cup of tea without thinking, what have I got to do the next day? Am I going to be too tired for that? I can't just go away for the weekend..."

It is thought between 5 and 10% of people who get Covid are still suffering with symptoms 12 weeks afterwards.

The latest statistics suggest 1.3 million people across the UK had Long Covid at the end of last year.

Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pains, brain fog, and dizziness.

Doncaster GP Dr Dean Eggitt said: "Think of a virus like a computer virus. It's a code - it goes in there, it changes the base code, your code as a human being, your recipe, and then you afterwards is a different person.

"In that reprogramming, it probably creates some form of inflammation and what I mean by inflammation is redness and swelling, all parts of the body, your brain, your heart, your lungs, and that then causes damage."

Long Covid Support