A PREVIOUSLY active shop manager has spoken about the impact covid-19 continues to have on her life – 10 weeks after she believes the life-threatening condition struck.

Sara Long, who pre-coronavirus managed the Restore charity shop in Thompson Street, Barry, was a hands-on manager who lifted heavy furniture and was described as someone who ‘rarely sat down’.

But now the 45-year-old says she must rest for 75 per cent of her waking day.

The mum-of-two, of Barry Island, is urging people to avoid complacency and stay as safe as the long term-complications of contracting the virus become known.

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Ms Long, not being a key worker, was not tested, but she started showing symptoms – fatigue and extreme breathlessness - on March 14.

She self-isolated for seven days and then the UK Government announced lockdown.

“During the first couple of weeks of lockdown I was fine, not back to my usual self, but I got back to a resemblance or normality where I was walking my three dogs each morning for 45 minutes,” she said.

“During the day I would work out with YouTube and tackle jobs in the house and garden.

“But after a couple of weeks I noticed I was struggling.

“I only lasted a few minutes with a workout video that would normally have stretched me, but I would have been able to do it.”

On May 1 she became breathless and experienced chest pain, when pegging out some washing, and she called 999 and asked her church GodFirst, in Belvedere Crescent, to pray.

She was thought to have had a panic attack, but a nurse at her surgery believed this was not the case.

On May 6 she called the doctor who decided she should return to hospital.

“I was sent to Llandough where numerous tests were carried out,” she said. “All came back negative, yet my symptoms were clear to see.

“I was given a nebuliser to assist to breathe that evening.

I was kept in and was given the nebuliser again at 2am and 9am and seemed to get back to normal.

“They discharged me the next day after having done the covid test whilst there and was told I would get the results in the next day or two and to self-isolate.

“They noted covid damage as a diagnosis as although I hadn't had a test at the time.

“My symptoms are consistent with others presenting in a similar way post-viral infection.

“The test came back the next day saying negative.

“Over the next few days, I was still weak and tired and could only really rest and was not able to speak or do anything.”

On May 11, she deteriorated and her GP sent her to hospital – where she remained for four days.

“I was struggling to breathe, had palpitations and a new symptom of legs being almost immobile,” she said.

“I could walk but very, very slowly and it was painful.

“I looked like I would fall over any minute.

“Numerous tests were carried out.

“Everything was clear, but symptoms the symptoms are evident.

“They say that there is not enough known about coronavirus damage and the symptoms being presented would normally provide a positive result and they know how to treat it, but not in this instance.

“After using the nebuliser several times, having my inhalers changed and increased again I was sent home.”

Ms Long has joined a group for post-covid survivors who have their stories to tell, with similar symptoms.

“A lot of people were fit and active and still 10 to 11 weeks on still unable to walk or do the things they would normally do,” she said.

“Having my family, friends, church family and my support group helped so much.

“I still need so much help and I cannot walk far.

“I cannot do many tasks independently.

“Seventy-five per cent of my time now is taken up with resting.

“This is not like flu and you really don't know how you will deal with it when it happens.

“The hospital has given me an open invitation to go back any time, but I am resting a lot and doing what I can to stay out of hospital.

“There are thousands - maybe more - people all around the world having long tail coronavirus.

“These are the symptoms I have had to endure - breathlessness, mobility issues, hot and cold temperatures (often at the same time), tremors, shaking, palpitations, headaches, stomach ache, chronic fatigue, difficulty in sleeping, aching limbs, high BP, heartburn, pain, soreness in eyes and around the eyes.

“These seem to be common with others at the same level as me in their recovery.

“I hope and pray for full recovery.

“I see so many people not adhering to the rules, but it seems covid is like playing with dice.

“You can’t be certain if you will get it and if you do how you will fare.”