Rachel Ball: Walsall's star boxer on her recovery from Long Covid and how it threatened her career

  • Steve Clamp reports

Public messaging about Covid-19 has consistently warned that those who are unfit or overweight might be at more risk of serious symptoms.

So when star boxer Rachel Ball caught the virus, she expected a quick recovery. At this point she had just beaten one of the most highly rated women's fighters in the country and had the boxing world at her feet.

The reality was the opposite for Rachel, as her symptoms persisted for weeks and then months, threatening to end her career.

After 10 days the coughing eased, but then other, more difficult symptoms developed.

Although her career was in jeopardy, her biggest concern was for the long-term health repercussions.

Out of the blue, Rachel was given hope. She was contacted by Dr Michael Gonevski at the Midlands Diving Chamber in Rugby about a trial for Long Covid sufferers.

Rachel immediately agreed to be a part of the trial, which involved sitting in a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, every day for an hour and half across two weeks.

The pure oxygen inside is compressed to levels found underwater, and this is absorbed into the blood and 'to wake up' the cells damaged by Covid.

Rachel Ball sat inside an oxygen chamber once a day as part of the trial, which gradually improved her symptoms like brain fog and tiredness Credit: ITV Central

Thanks to this trial, Rachel is back in the gym, and her chance at a world title has been rearranged for July.