'Climbing Everest was easy compared with long covid battle': Athlete shares experience of virus

Video report by ITV Meridian reporter Sally Simmonds.

An extreme climber from Berkshire says he would rather attempt climbing Mount Everest again, rather than repeat his ordeal of long Covid.

Nick Hollis is an endurance athlete but after contracting Coronavirus, he is undergoing tests for damage to his heart.

International climber Nick Hollis summited Everest last May as part of a Guinness World Record attempt. Everest was his 7th summit of the 721 challenge.

Nick is trying to understand what is causing an array of symptoms. He says the most worrying being his heart, which means he has to wear a heart monitor 24 hours of the day.

Experts are still learning how to deal with the virus' debilitating effects.

£10 million is be invested this year in additional local funding to help kick start and designate long covid clinics in every area across England, to complement existing primary, community and rehabilitation care.

  • Nick Hollis says battling Long Covid was one of the toughest things he's had to encounter despite the challenges he has completed in the past.

What are the symptoms of long covid?

  • Symptoms range from: breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog”, anxiety and stress.

  • Increasing medical evidence and patient testimony is showing that a small but significant minority of people who contract Covid cannot shake off the effects of the virus months after initially falling ill.

  • Some estimates suggest that 10% of Covid patients may still be experiencing symptoms more than three weeks after infection, and perhaps 60,000 people could be suffering from long covid symptoms after more than three months (NHS England).