May 21, 2022

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NHS nurse, 41, ‘may never be able to work again’ after two year Long Covid battle

NHS nurse, 41, ‘may never be able to work again’ after two year Long Covid battle
Saskia Mulder was among the first wave of medics to contract coronavirus back in March 2020, and is still suffering with the debilitating impact of the illnessSaskia Mulder, 41, fears she may never return to work after a two year Long Covid battleA dedicated NHS nurse fears she may never return to work due to…

Saskia Mulder was among the first wave of medics to contract coronavirus back in March 2020, and is still suffering with the debilitating impact of the illness

Saskia Mulder, 41, fears she may never return to work after a two year Long Covid battle

Saskia Mulder, 41, fears she may never return to work after a two year Long Covid battle

A dedicated NHS nurse fears she may never return to work due to the devastating impact of Long Covid.

Saskia Mulder, 41, was among the first wave of medics to contract coronavirus back in March 2020.

Initially she thought she would be back with her colleagues within a matter of weeks, but nearly two years later she is still experiencing the debilitating effects of the illness.

Saskia, a deputy ward manager in Belfast, said that “rehabilitation” for Long Covid patients has been ineffective, and called for a complete overhaul of the way the condition is treated.

Before she fell ill she would regularly work 13 hour shifts several times a week.

Now though she’s unable to walk long distances and experiences acute pain, nausea and extreme fatigue, as well as struggling to read and keep up with conversations.

Saskia, who used to balance her gruelling job with working as a reiki practitioner, told The Mirror: “I just want my old life back, I’ve had enough of just being sick. Whether I can ever go back to work is up in the air.

Saskia was among the first wave of NHS workers to be infected with Covid

The 41-year-old is desperate to get her old life back again

“I was a very independent woman and didn’t have to rely on anyone.

“Now I can’t stand without a stick and I can’t walk for more than five to ten minutes. I can’t read, I can’t have long conversations and my eyesight has deteriorated.

“It’s so difficult to battle now, I don’t have the strength and stamina. Whenever I relapse I go into a very dark place.

“My son has had to witness his mum turn into this woman who’s crying all the time.”

Being constantly unwell has had a horrific impact on Saskia’s mental health, leaving her feeling suicidal as her condition relapses.

But despite this, she said she has not been offered any effective treatment, and has now applied to travel to Germany for groundbreaking microclotting treatment which is not available in the UK.

Saskia said the impact of Long Covid had left her feeling suicidal

She has called for a complete overhaul of the way Long Covid is treated

She told The Mirror: “I’ve been made to feel like it’s in my head, it’s a horrible, horrible feeling.

“So many of us have been told we need to get back up and get at it, the education around it is horrendous.

“We need to be seen face-to-face and we need to be given the correct tests.”

In the months after she contracted Covid-19 after treating patients who had the newly-emerging disease, Saskia was offered online exercise classes, but says these did more harm than good.

“I’ve been onto rehab programmes, but they’ve nearly destroyed me,” she said.

“It’s caused me to have a massive relapse. There’s no amount of psychology that’s going to make my Long Covid get better, it’s a physical illness.”

Michael MacLennan, chief executive of charity covid:aid, told The Mirror that Sakia’s experience is not uncommon.

He said: “At covid:aid we’ve consistently heard of experiences where people with very real physical experiences as a result of Long Covid have been gaslit and told it’s ‘in their head’ – unfortunately including from medical professionals.

“More awareness and training is desperately needed so people with Long Covid can receive the treatment they need, and not experience stigma in addition to the traumas they are already experiencing.”

New research has suggested that Long Covid is a vessel disease, causing microclots within the blood plasma.

Experts believe this could explain why people with the condition are left short of breath, despite respiratory tests coming back clear.

Saskia has now put her name down to travel to Germany for microclotting treatment in the hope it can ease her pain.

“We need to be looking at this as nothing else is working,” she said.

Scientists have called for more research into whether blood clotting is responsible for patients enduring symptoms so long after Covid infection.

A study led by Prof Resia Pretorius, who heads the physiological sciences department at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, found evidence that people with Covid are likely to develop tiny blood clots.

Researchers wrote: “It is also now accepted that coagulation pathology is central in acute COVID-19. Several autopsy results have also confirmed microthrombi throughout the lung and associated with right ventricular dilation of the heart.”

It ruled that patients are likely to benefit from “a regime of continued anticlotting therapy to support the fibrinolytic system function”.

Prof Pretorius has said there is a need for more research to provide further understanding of the link between blood clotting and Long Covid.

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