Dad says Long Covid has 'drained colour' out of 17-year-old daughter's life

Rosie's father, Colin, spoke to our Health Reporter Deborah McAleese.

The father of a teenager who is suffering from Long Covid says the effects of living with the condition have 'drained colour' from her life.

Rosie Pidgeon, 17, contracted the virus last September and has been living with Long Covid since.

Daily migraines, extreme fatigue and debilitating muscle pain have left Rosie unable to get out of bed at times.

Her father Colin, says just last year Rosie achieved top grades in her GCSE exams.

"Rosie, last August, got nine A/A* GCSEs and now she can't read properly," Colin told UTV News.

More than 1,200 people living with Long Covid have been referred to specialist clinics which opened in Northern Ireland in October 2021

Rosie took part in dancing competitions before contracting Covid-19. Credit: Family footage

However, many of those suffering say the support is not good enough.

"A lot of these people say they are in limbo," says Neil Johnston from NI Chest Heart and Stroke.

"They are not really being given the true support they require from the health service. People are getting an initial assessment and possibly being referred to a six-week self-management [programme] but in some instances we need a much more comprehensive assessment and support service for those people."

Mr Pidgeon says the lack of treatment available is "enormously frustrating".

He explained: "Rosie is seventeen and she should be excited, life should be good, she should be learning to drive, she should be going to dance class, she should be doing her A levels and stuff like that.

"She can't do any of that."